A small number of thulo manchhe haru in the Nepal government will profit, but Nepali farmers will get poorer, Nepali soil will be damaged. The export potential will very likely be damaged with many countries refusing to import food products from Monsanto’s hybrid and GMO seeds. If the pilot program goes ahead, the United States will leave a legacy of environmental degradation, human health issues, social disintegration and hardship.
Yesterday a protest took place near the American Embassy in Nepal. Though the participants had aimed to have their voices heard outside one of the biggest embassies in Kathmandu their route was obstructed by the Nepal police. Nevertheless, the 250 or so protesters comprising of westerners to Nepalis left a mark as photos of them have been printed on national dailies today in Nepal to even international blogging sites covering the movement.
To put it simply; this protest was to put pressure on the Government of Nepal to cancel their agreement with USAID and Monsanto Inc (the proposed hybrid maize pilot project from going ahead). Sascha Fuller wrote a guest column on Nepali Times earlier this month and here’s a short excerpt from her piece:
Even The Himalayan Times and The Kathmandu Post seem to be critical of the move to welcome a company to Nepal which is already one of the most controversial corporations in the world with a past full of unethical practice that has the potential to devastate the agriculture of Nepal. I certainly oppose this move and now even USAID have stayed mum regarding the decision. Protesting online or on the streets is our way of getting the message across that we do not feel that this will be beneficial to Nepal in the long run. So to those who attended the protest, thank you and I hope you… we… reach a solution that will be good for Nepal.
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