Monsanto Company is part of a unique public and private partnertship to help farmers in earthquake-ravaged Haiti who may not have had sufficient seeds to plant this season. The Haitian Ministry of Agriculture approved a donation from Monsanto to Haitian farmers of four-million dollars worth of conventional hybrid corn and vegetable seeds. Donation and distribution will occur over the next 12 months.
The first shipment of more than 60 tons of seeds arrived last week through donated shipping, logistic and distribution services provided by Kuehne + Nagel and UPS. That initial shipment will be distributed to farmers in Haiti by the WINNER project - a five-year program funded by USAID. This program - designed to increase farmer productivity - will provide the in-country expertise, technical services and other inputs - like fertilizer - the farmers need to manage the crops. The Director of the WINNER project says the goal is to reach 10-thousand farmers with the seeds this growing season.
The prime planting season in Haiti occurs from mid-March through the end of May and accounts for 60% of the country's agricultural production. Nearly 2.4-million Haitians - according to the World Bank - are still food-insecure following January's earthquake - and farming and agriculture will be critical to long-term, sustainable recovery.