PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) – Haiti on Thursday launched two new mango processing factories that will help farmers export more of the juicy tropical fruit that is a $10 million-a-year business in the impoverished country.
Located in two rural towns in the mango-rich northwest, the plants aim to improve packaging and cleaning to decrease the number of mangoes bruised by poor handling and transport on rutted, sun-baked roads.
The two processing plants will employ 62 people to train mango farmers about cleaning and packaging and to better document the origin of their crops to meet standards in the United States, where most Haitian mangoes are sold.
Haiti grows dozens of different varieties that are indigenous to the country. The only type exported to the U.S. is the “Madame Francis,” which is juicy, sweet and a bit fibrous.
Last year, Haiti exported $10 million worth of mangoes, accounting for one-third of the country’s total agricultural export revenue, according to the U.S. Embassy.
With more processing plants, fruit industry leaders think they have the potential to blossom into a $90 million-a-year export business.
The new mango processing centers will increase profits for 9,500 farmers by as much as 20 percent, predicts CHF International, the U.S.-financed group that organized the project. -Jacob Kushner
By JACOB KUSHNER
The Associated Press
ST. MARC, Haiti — An outbreak of severe diarrhea in rural central Haiti has killed at least 54 people and sickened hundreds more who overwhelmed a crowded hospital Thursday seeking treatment.
Hundreds of patients lay on blankets in a parking lot outside St. Nicholas hospital in the port city of St. Marc with IVs in their arms for rehydration. As rain began to fall in the afternoon, nurses rushed to carry them inside.
Fair and inclusive elections may prove impossible in Haiti this year. In the run-up to the Nov. 28 presidential vote, post-quake logistics are presenting huge challenges: some 230,000 dead have to be purged from voter rolls and 1.3 million displaced have to be reregistered—and the constitutional deadline for that has already passed.
But an even greater problem may be Haiti’s electoral commission itself. It has sidelined 15 candidates without explanation and has excluded the Lavalas Party, which stands in opposition to the current president, René Préval. International investors and donors are worried that a tainted election will further impede the country’s already hobbling reconstruction efforts. Experts say rebuilding Haiti will necessarily infringe on individuals’ property rights—and the less trust Haitians have in their government, the quicker they’re likely to fight back. In the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, lesser issues have stirred unrest
Click HERE to see the story as it appeared in Newsweek.
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The Tele Mobil company of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, films an episode of The Tent Life—a reality show based on the tent city culture of the over one million Haitians displaced by the January 12th earthquake.
The show is aired every Thursday, Friday and Saturday on large projector screens in 17 different camps around Port-Au-Prince. The project, which is funded by the U.N. mission to Haiti (MINUSTAH), aims to improve the health and safety of camp residents through public service announcements that are aired during the show.
By Jacob Kushner
At the Viejo Jack bar in the town of Jarabacoa, the World Cup match between Brazil and the Ivory Coast is playing on a fuzzy projector screen. At this very moment across most of Latin America, millions of soccer fans are gathering in bars just like this to watch their favorite team progress toward the championship. Here at the Viejo Jack, there are exactly five such fans.
This is the Dominican Republic, where baseball is the second most commonly spoken language—where kids with no bats, balls or gloves use broom sticks, pieces of plastic and their bare hands to imitate what is indisputably this nation’s athletic passion.
But now the language of fútbol—‘estriker,’ patada and gol—is sneaking into the baseball-centric vocabulary of Dominicans who are taking interest in the world’s most popular sport.
Click HERE to read the full story as it appeared at 90:00 Soccer Magazine.