US interferes in El Salvador’s seed distribution practices

From CISPES (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador), 27 May 2014

Rather than following through on Secretary of State John Kerry’s promise to “pursue a positive and constructive relationship” between the US and El Salvador, the US government is demanding that the Salvadoran government eliminate a crucial element of a food security and poverty reduction program in order to receive development aid from the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

Since 2011, the FMLN-Funes administration has been purchasing locally-produced corn and bean seeds from small-scale farmers and distributing them free-of-charge to other small-scale farmers to promote domestic seed production, ensure food security and improve the livelihoods of family farmers, impoverished after decades of corporate-driven agricultural and free trade policies.

Now, US Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte has announced that El Salvador must allow foreign corporations to bid on the same seed contracts currently offered to local producers in order to receive $277 million in development aid from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Read more background on the situationhere.

It’s outrageous that the US government is using development aid to promote the interests of Big Agra giants like Monsanto at the expense of Salvadoran farmers and families.

Take Action Today in Solidarity with El Salvador’s Family Farmers!

Sign the PETITION to tell Secretary John Kerry to:<>
• Stop conditioning $277 in development funds on El Salvador cutting support for its family farmers
• Quit using international aid to influence the Salvadoran government’s sovereign policy decisions<>

Deadline: The petition will close on Thursday, June 5th, so it can be delivered to Secretary Kerry.