In May 2010, six months after an earthquake destroyed Haiti, the American multinational Monsanto donated the country 60 tons of corn and vegetable hybrid seed. The United States International Development Agency (USAID) took charge of the seed distribution.
A month later, the 4th of June of 2010, around 10,000 Haitian farmers demonstrated against Monsanto’s donation. “If Monsanto’s seed enters Haiti, farmer’s seed will disappear” Doudou Pierre Festil, member of Papaye Farmers’ Movement and coordinator of the National Sovereignty and Food Security Network. Haitian farmers denounce that Monsanto’s seeds can’t be reused each year, which leads to the necessity of buying new seed to the multinational every new sowing season. Moreover, the Organization Farmer’s Route has warned that the entering of Monsanto’s seeds could force the farmers to depend on the company. This dependence could also extend to the fertilizers and herbicides required by the American Multinational who also produces them.
“Haitian government is using the earthquake to sell the country to multinationals”, has declared Chavannes Jean Baptiste, coordinator of Papaye Farmer’s Movement. Monsanto is the World biggest seed company: it controls 20% of the seed market and the 90% of agricultural biotechnological patents. The earthquake that devastated Haiti in January 2010 left 300,000 dead people and half a million wounded people and destroyed around a million homes.
Diagonal journal: “Monsanto hace negocio en Haití tras el terremoto”, Julio Rojo, 28 July 2010. http://www.diagonalperiodico.net/Monsanto-hace-negocio-en-Haiti.html
Agencia Latina de Información: “Monsanto y el Proyecto Vencedor”, Thalles Gomes, 19 May 2010. http://www.alainet.org/active/38266″ http://www.alainet.org/active/38266
Student Researchers: Joan Pedro, Luis Luján
Faculty Evaluator: Dra. Ana I. Segovia, Universidad Complutense de Madrid