On Jan. 12, 2010, a massive earthquake hit Haiti, impacting millions of residents and changing the nation forever. Following the disaster, Monsanto donated money to the recovery, but it was clear a donation of our products – quality corn and vegetable seeds – could really make a difference in the lives of Haitians.
We believe agriculture is key in the long-term recovery of Haiti. That’s why we’ve donated more than $4 million worth of conventional corn and vegetable seeds to be made over the next 12 months in support of reconstruction efforts. The donated seeds include corn, cabbage, carrot, eggplant, melon, onion, tomato, spinach and watermelon.
The Haitian Ministry of Agriculture approved our donation and ensured the seed selected was appropriate for the growing conditions and farmer practices in Haiti.
Managing and Distributing the Seed in Haiti
We’ve partnered with Kuehne + Nagel, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and UPS on this donation. Here’s how it’s going to work:
- The first shipment of more than 60 tons of hybrid corn and vegetable seeds arrived in Haiti the first week of May through donated shipping, logistic and distribution services provided by Kuehne + Nagel and UPS.
- The initial seed shipment will be distributed to Haitian farmers by the WINNER project, a five-year program to increase farmer productivity funded by USAID. WINNER will also provide the in-country expertise, technical services and other inputs, such as fertilizer, needed by farmers to manage the crops.
- A second shipment of 70 tons of hybrid, conventional corn seed, also donated by Monsanto, is en-route (as of May 13, 2010). Further donation and distribution of up to an additional 345 tons of conventional hybrid corn seed is anticipated over the next 12 months.
Putting the Seeds in Farmers’ Hands
The seeds are being provided free-of-charge by Monsanto. WINNER will distribute the seeds through farmer association stores to be sold at a significantly reduced price. The farmer stores will use the revenue to reinvest in other inputs to support farmers in the future. The farmer associations alone will receive revenue from the sales.
WINNER estimates this donation will reach 10,000 Haitian farmers during this growing season. The vegetables and grain these seeds produce are expected to help feed farmers and provide them additional economic opportunities.