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What I love about this photo of Haiti’s Artibonite Valley is the stillness—and the huge sense of possibility that winds with the river through the landscape. It reminds me of how I felt on one of my early trips to Haiti, shortly after the devastating earthquake destroyed so much of the capital, Port-au-Prince, three years ago.
Leaving the city behind, we drove into the countryside. The roads were rough and many people lived in poor conditions. But I had the keen sense that with some smart investment—by the government, by the international community—these rural regions could hum with agricultural productivity.
That’s been the recent focus of some of Oxfam’s work in the Artibonite Valley, where we are partnering with local organizations to help farmers revive a rice industry that once played a key role in the nation’s economy. Today, more than 80 percent of the rice Haitians eat is imported. But through the efforts of 5,000 farmers in the lower valley, that could begin to change.