U.S. demands conditions for acceptance of Millenium Challenge Funds
This morning, we as solidarity organizations based in the United States – Committees in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), U.S.–El Salvador Sister Cities, the SHARE Foundation, and Joining Hands El Salvador Network (RUMES) – will deliver a petition signed by 1,000 U.S. citizens denouncing the manipulation of Millennium Challenge Corporation funds by the U.S. Department of State against the current policy of purchasing Salvadoran non-transgenic seeds distributed as part of the Family Agriculture Plan by the Ministry of Agriculture.
We share the concerns of our Salvadoran allies against this intrusion of the Embassy in the sovereign politics of this country and we declare our solidarity in their struggle to defend the purchase of native Salvadoran seeds. The purchase of these seeds is a fundamental component of the Family Agriculture Plan, which has generated employment and income for the Salvadoran cooperatives and has increased crop production significantly. This year, the program is benefiting more than 400,000 small farmers and their families, and has been applauded by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the U.S. government itself.
Without this program, thousands of small and medium farmers would be excluded from the opportunity to sell their seeds to the government just because of being small businesses. Thus, the decree to promote domestic production of maize and bean seeds has also managed to break a monopoly maintained for many years by two companies, Semillas Cristiani Burkhardt, importer of Monsanto, and Fertica. The seeds currently distributed also have the advantage of being native, resistant to the climatic conditions of El Salvador and are a fundamental part of Salvadoran culture. Read More »