October 4, 2012 | 9:49 am | Print
Above: a meeting of the price control commission in Port-au-Prince (Photo: OP Haiti)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Haiti’s recently-established Commission on Price Control met this week to address the issue of food and commodity prices in the Haitian market, Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe’s office announced Monday.
The meeting followed several protests across Haiti last week, in part due to rising food prices.
Haiti’s Office of Monetization confirmed that approximately 288,000 bags of rice and 30 kilogrammes of an American variety would be arriving in Haiti due to help from the government of Japan.
The rice will reportedly be on the market beginning Monday, Oct. 8.
While Haiti once had a strong rice production industry, particularly in the Artibonite Valley, production has fallen off in recent years.
Haiti now imports approximately 125,000 tonnes of rice each year, according to a government estimate.
While the government has been pushing to increase local rice production, that will take time to improve.
Venezuela’s government has been pushing forward a project to increase agricultural production in Haiti — and in the Artibonite region.
In a statement, the committee also said it had sent “price control inspectors” to examine different markets in Port-au-Prince.
Lamothe announced the formation of the committee in mid-September, with a stated mandate of proposing measures to stabilize commodity prices considered “sensitive” due to their”importance to Haiti’s food basket.”