US-based seed developer Monsanto has pledged to donate US$4m worth of vegetable and corn seeds to Haitian farmers over the next 12 months to aid to the country’s recovery efforts following January’s devastating earthquake.
In a statement, Monsanto said the donation, which has been approved by Haiti’s Ministry of Agriculture and is being supported by Kuehne + Nagel, UPS and USAID, would see more than 130 tonnes of seeds reaching growers.
The donated vegetable seeds include cabbage, carrot, aubergine, melon, watermelon, onion, tomato and spinach.
Monsanto said the Haitain government’s involvement ensured the seeds selected were appropriate for the growing conditions and farming practices in Haiti.
The first shipment of more than 60 tonnes of conventional hybrid corn and vegetable seeds arrived in Haiti via air and seaport last week 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 the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Winner will distribute the seeds through farmer association stores at a significantly reduced price. The farmer stores, which will alone receive revenue from the sales, will use the revenue to reinvest in other inputs to support farmers in the future.