Standing Up To Multinational Big-Ag: Nepal, Monsanto, & USAID

Posted Date: Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Throughout history, controlling India was the key to controlling Nepal. British control over the landlocked nation was an extension of its control over India itself. Today, imperialism is far from a distant memory. It did not go “extinct,” rather, it merely “evolved.” Today, imperialism looks like national and international “aid programs” which are used as fronts and vectors for corporate special interests. USAID, the World Food Programme, and others, for instance, serve as fronts and vectors for corporations like Monsanto. In turn, Monsanto seeks a monopoly over world food production and the immense wealth and influence associated with such control. Just like the British East Indies Company did for centuries (1600’s-1800’s) the West is using a combination of corporations and foundations to project geopolitical power. And few other sectors engender such sought-after geopolitical power like control over a nation’s agriculture. The story of corporate-financier interests attempting to conquer Nepal through this method is not new. In 2011, when “Maoist” rebels finally took control of the country and Western-style “democracy” foisted upon the Nepali people, Western corporations were already positioned to overrun the levers of power by controlling the nation’s infrastructure. In the immediate aftermath of years of fighting, USAID along with Monsanto and a corrupt, weak, and vulnerable Nepal government began a “pilot program” indoctrinating some 20,000 farmers in the use of patented, poisoned, economy-wrecking GMO crops, and in particular Monsanto’s infamous hybrid maize breeds. The program had also received backing from members of neighboring India’s government who had already helped introduce Monsanto’s GMO crops throughout their country -beginning the wholesale destruction of India’s food security and domestic farming industry. The Nepali Times in 2011 reported in their article, “Going to seed,” that: A US-government supported pilot project to introduce into Nepal hybrid maize seeds produced by the multinational, Monsanto, has set off alarm bells over its potential harm. USAID’s Nepal Economic, Agriculture, and Trade Activity (NEAT) has got the Department of Agriculture and Monsanto to set up test plots to promote the new seeds in Chitwan, Nawalparasi and Kavre districts. This pilot plan will train 20,000 farmers in hybrid maize production methods and help in marketing the seeds. Another Nepali Times piece that same year titled, “Why Monsanto? Instead of improving harvests, a USAID program to push hybrid maize will make Nepali farmers more destitute,” explicitly stated: The USAID-Monsanto partnership is blatant exploitation of a corrupt and unstable government in Nepal. There is no ‘point of no return’ when it comes to this issue. Monsanto’s presence in Nepal will be irreversible and will result in the introduction of genetically-modified crops, further alienating farmers from their land and food production, with disastrous consequences. Resistance to this power-grab disguised as “aid” began immediately, but it was only in 2014 that the Nepal government through a court order, finally prohibited GMO seeds from entering the country, thus disrupting Monsanto’s plans. Al Jazeera in an article titled, “In Nepal, victory for anti-GMO activists?,” would report that: After a 2-year battle, Nepal’s supreme court issued an order Wednesday temporarily prohibiting the import of genetically modified seeds. This would prevent multinational agricultural corporations like Monsanto from selling and distributing their products in the country. Many in Nepal celebrated the news. Read more at:

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