Report: Can coffee save Haiti?

(Photo by Brett Konen)
(Photo by Brett Konen for The Seattle Globalist)

Can cultivating coffee farms empower Haiti economically? That’s one of the angles The Seattle Times explores in Tuesday’s installment of a multipart series on Haiti.

Decades of civil unrest and a devastating 2009 earthquake has crippled the economy of Haiti, once the top coffee-producing country in the world, according to Times reporter Ángel González.

González writes, “Even today, for those who have them, coffee trees still serve ‘like a savings account,'” a Catholic Relief Services official told the Times.

Coffee exports have plummeted to 10,000 bags in 2013, but some entrepreneurs and industry groups told the Times that a return to the coffee industry could be one key to the country’s economic revival.

However, agriculture alone won’t be the answer, González writes. In previous installments, the Times looks at a Haitian factory that produces tablet computers, and Haiti Babi, a Seattle nonprofit that provides jobs to Haitians to produce items such as handmade baby hats and blankets for sale in the United States. (The Seattle Globalist profiled the nonprofit in 2013.)

Check out more of Haiti: A shaky recovery in The Seattle Times.

Beatrice, one of the mothers working with Haiti Babi, crochets a blanket. (Photo courtesy Katlin Jackson)
Beatrice, one of the mothers working with Haiti Babi, crochets a blanket. (Photo courtesy Katlin Jackson)
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