Konbit Haiti, kleren, haitian sugarcane
Workers take a break from cutting sugar cane on the Aubry farm in a rural area in Leogane, Haiti. Saturday June 17, 2017. (Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

Part 2 of 2 about konbit in our ongoing State of Haiti series

PIGNON, HAITI— Last month, the United Nations World Food Program made a 25% cut in food aid it has provided to Haiti even while saying a staggering 4.9 million Haitians are grappling with severe hunger. Meanwhile, an unknown number of Haiti’s farms — large and small — that could produce food or the means to go buy sustenance sit untended. Or their potential to feed the country goes unrealized.


Konbit, the Haitian farming custom deeply rooted in collective effort for food production and other socio-economic systems, is disappearing in many provinces, including Pignon. The shortage of people available or interested in farmwork is impacting output in entire towns, and perhaps the very idea of “carrying the load together” that had permeated the Haitian mindset, ways and culture beyond the fields.

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Murdith Joseph is a social worker and journalist. She studied at the State University of Haiti and Maurice Communication. She first worked as a journalist presenter and reporter for Radio Sans Fin (RSF) then as a journalist reporter for Radio tele pacific and writting for the daily Le National. Today she joined the Haitian Times team and covers the news in Port-Au-Prince-Haiti.