chapter  9
Malnutrition and Disease
Pages 44

Chapters 5-8 have presented the basic problems of Haitian peasant agriculture. At the center is the erosion process. The growth of the population creates an accelerating process of soil destruction which goes unchecked. Neither the peasants themselves nor the Haitian government have proved willing to make any attempts to control erosion. We have also gained some insight into the philosophy of the Haitian governments with respect to agriculture. The peasant sector is seen as a source of taxes, while the reluctance to spend the tax proceeds to improve the production capacity of that sector has been notorious. Against this general background, the remaining chapters of the book will be devoted to a more detailed investigation of four important specific areas: nutrition and health, education, rural capital formation, and technological change in the agricultural sector. We will make an attempt to sketch the development in each of these fields in the past 25 years (or longer when possible) in order to identify the possible changes (or lack of changes) resulting from government action or otherwise.