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Helping to restore agriculture after the hurricane – BNN and Naturland open a special account for donations

Haiti zerstoerte Bananenplanage 350Banana plantation destroyed by the hurrican (Source: ORE)Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world, has been hard hit by Hurricane Matthew. At the moment top priority is being given to disaster relief to ensure that the minimum requirements of those affected are met directly. However, it is at the same time already necessary to think about the next sowing season so that Haitian farmers do not remain dependent on food aid long term.

To this end, BNN (German Association of Organic Processors, Wholesalers and Retailers) and Naturland have opened a special account for donations so that Haiti and its citizens can receive assistance over and above that of immediate disaster aid, assistance which this battered country is now in urgent need of. The hurricane destroyed not only the harvests, but also the seed which the farmers who follow traditional practice need after harvesting for the new sowing season. If they cannot manage to plant maize, millet and beans in January, another growing season will be lost.
Dr. Felix Prinz zu Löwenstein, chairman of BÖLW (German Federation of the Organic Food Industry) and a longstanding member of Naturland’s board of directors, has had close contact with Haiti for decades. When he was a volunteer aid worker, he spent three years in the south west of Haiti, the region most severely affected. Löwenstein is familiar with the local situation and with the work of many development organisations there.
One of these is ORE (Organization for the Rehabilitation of the Environment;, which is an NGO. Its radius of operations covers precisely that area over which the centre of the storm swept. For over 30 years now, ORE has been involved in seed cultivation, in co-operation with the farmers. ORE is already procuring and distributing vegetable seed to be sown immediately. However, it is crucial that seed procurement for sowing in January also be initiated now. As Löwenstein says, “This reproducible seed is the alternative which farmers need so not to become dependent on GMO seed which they have to buy again and again every sowing season.”
The name of the account opened by BNN and Naturland is “Saatgut-Hilfe für Haiti” (“Seed aid to Haiti”). The donations are to be given to ORE to enable Haitian farmers to be supplied with the requisite seed as early as possible. To start the ball rolling, BNN and Naturland are making a contribution of 1,000 euros to the account. Any additional contribution that can be made is welcome, no matter whether the donation comes from farmers, processors, trading companies or consumers. Every little counts.

Please donate to the following account:

  • Account holder: Naturland - Verband für ökologischen Landbau e.V.
    Bank: Kreissparkasse München Starnberg Ebersberg
    IBAN: DE72 7025 0150 0028 5993 97
    Purpose: “Saatgut-Hilfe für Haiti” Seed aid to Haiti