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Haiti seeks to revive agriculture through Venezuela food-for-fuel deal

 

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (HCNN): Haiti's government is seeking to boost the agriculture sector through an agreement that would allow the impoverished Caribbean country to invest funds owed to Venezuela for fuel imports in massive food production projects and pay part of the fuel bills with food exports, officials say.

In 2005, then Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, initiated the PetroCaribe agreement that allowed Latin-American and Caribbean member-countries to pay for 60 percent of the oil immediately, while the remaining 40 percent is financed at a one percent interest rate over 25 years.

Haitian President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe have engaged in talks with the new Venezuelan leadership to allow Haiti to become part of a food-for-oil program, already negotiated by some other PetroCaribe members, such as Guyana. "We've been talking with Venezuelan authorities to seek an agreement that will allow Haiti to pay fuel bills with food products made in Haiti," Lamothe told HCNN on Monday.

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