Monsanto is the largest multinational company that produces genetically modified seeds, accounting for over 90% of the modified seeds of the planet. Monsanto´s head quarters are in St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States. They have companies all around the world. They work on accomplishing different goals including "manufacturing plants, seed production facilities, research centers, having administrative and sales offices and learning centers".
Relationship between Peru and Monsanto:
Right now, Monsanto is working in Ica, Peru to save water efficiently in regards to agriculture. Since Ica is a desert and has very small amounts of precipitation per year, high amount of water supply is needed in order for the crops to flourish successfully. Monsanto is tracking the amount of water waster per seed produced. In this way they can keep track of the exact amount of water that is needed and give them the exact amounts. As in today, Monsanto benefits a lot from their agriculture in Peru, given the fact that most of their melon and tomato seeds are extracted from there.
Even though there are Monsanto companies around Peru, in April 2011, the Peruvian government made their final decision: Monsanto in Peru can implement no GMO seeds. Even though they want to introduce their GMO seeds, Peru is one of the few countries that has declined their offer. Monsanto is such a powerful company all around the world, that by having Peru out of their conquer, makes it even more special for the Peruvian culture.
Monsanto promises the fact that the technology that they implement for their crops increases crop yields and decreases the amount of pesticides. This is their statement: "GMO crops generally have higher yields due to both breeding and biotechnology.”
Farmers in Peru are against the introduction of GMO’s because they are afraid that it will ruin the bio-diversity that the country has. The introduction of GMO’s in the country will probably lead to a decrease in the amount of species there are for a variety of plants, especially for the potato, which Peru is known to have over 4,000 species. Peru also benefits more from producing organic foods than other South American countries, because they earn around $3 billion per year in revenues from organic foods such as coffee and cocoa.
The law that was passed by President Ollanta, not only aims at preserving biodiversity in Peru, but also to protect the local farmers. The farmers will gain a lot more financial benefits by producing a variety of organic foods, , rather than by using Monsanto GMO’s seeds, which will place farmers in the direct control of Monsanto. GMO seeds will increase production, crop resistance against diseases and thereby lower prices per volume. However, it causes a loss in added value and prices paid internationally for organic foods. There is a strong market growth in organic foods produced in Peru which would become at risk with the introduction of GMO’s.
Although the ban of GMO’s is in place in Peru until 2021, Monsanto still is present and has a laboratory in Ica. They aren’t producing any GMO’s at the moment, because it would be against the law. They are only doing laboratory research and development. However, we can see that this ban of GMO’s hasn’t stopped Monsanto from having some sort of presence in one of the most bio diverse countries in the world, which may enable their expansion in the future if the ban gets revoked.