To Whom It May Concern:
The MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee is concerned with the U.S. government’s actions on the second Millennium Challenge Corporation Funds. We are worried that this will be used against the current policy of purchasing Salvadoran non-transgenic seeds distributed as part of the Family Agriculture Plan by El Salvador’s Ministry of Agriculture.
The purchase of the native Salvadoran 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 the Family Agriculture Plan, thousands of small and medium producers would be excluded from the opportunity to sell their seeds to the government just because they are small businesses. The seeds now being distributed also have the advantage of being native, resistant to climatic conditions of El Salvador and a fundamental part of Salvadoran culture.
The MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee is outraged that the Embassy invokes the free trade agreement CAFTA to demand that the government of El Salvador remove the provision that promotes seed production by small domestic producers, with clear intentions to advance the interests of transnational agricultural companies. The United States has no right to threaten this successful program that is essential for El Salvador’s progress toward food security and sovereignty in a sustainable and equitable manner.
We hope that the Obama administration will cease to condition the MCC Funds and will stop pressuring to change this and other successful programs implemented through democratic and sovereign processes by Salvadorans to reactivate the productive fabric of their country. International cooperation should be an instrument of support and respect, not imposition and blackmail.
MOFGA-El Salvador Sistering Committee