Last Spring, the agribusiness Monsanto announced it was making a $4 million gift of seeds "to support the reconstruction effort" in Haiti. The "gift" - reportedly hybrid maize and vegetable seeds - was slated to total 505 tons of seed over 12 months.
Six months after the alleged distribution of the first delivery of Monsanto seeds. Haiti Grassroots Watch decided to follow up on the controversial donation, especially of the maize hybrid seed.
• Why were the seeds accepted by government officials?
• Where were the seeds distributed?
• Did the farmers - who were slated to receive the seed for only 10 percent of the real cost - like the seed? Did they understand what "hybrid" means as far as using the seed's "offspring"?
• Were and are proper precautions being taken regarding the seeds, which are coated with potentially poisonous fungicides and pesticides?
• Will the rest of the "gift" be distributed, or has it been already?
• Does it appear likely that Haitian farmers could become dependent on highly subsidized Monsanto or other hybrid seeds, only to be slammed the full price in a few years, the way US homebuyers were hit with "exploding mortgages?"