By Wendy Osher
Monsanto Company has announced a multi-stage support effort to aid in recovery and rebuilding efforts for farmers in the Philippines affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda, known internationally as Typhoon Haiyan.
“Our thoughts and support go out to the people directly impacted by the typhoon as well as our entire Filipino community at Monsanto,” said Mike Frank, Monsanto’s vice president for international row crops and vegetables in a company-issued press release.
The company says Monsanto has more than 100 employees in the region, and many employees with personal ties to the devastated areas.
“As farmers ourselves, we feel the pain and suffering of our fellow farmers whose homes and fields were destroyed. I’m very grateful for the company’s support,” said Fred Perlak, vice president of research and business operations for Monsanto in Hawaiʻi.
Monsanto says the support effort is expected to total more than $400,000, and includes: short-term relief of food and water; rebuilding homes of farmers; donating corn seed; and offering employee donation matches to further enhance relief effort.
Under the aid effort Monsanto has donated: $100,000 to the Philippines Red Cross for short-term relief of food, water and temporary shelter; and $250,000 to the Philippine-based Gawad Kalinga foundation to build 50 new homes and repair an additional 230 homes in the Visayas region.
Monsanto also announced a dollar-for-dollar match for donations made by Monsanto employees of up to $1,000 each toward the International Red Cross, the UN World Food Programme and the Red Crescent Society
To further support farm families in the region, Monsanto also announced it will provide DEKALB Genuity corn hybrid seeds free of charge to corn farmers that sustained extensive crop damage to ensure “they may replant flooded or damaged fields as soon as possible.”
According to Monsanto, more than 20,000 farm families in the Visayan Islands are among those struggling in the typhoon aftermath.
Joan Ferguson, a Monsanto employee in Hawaii who is originally from Biliran Island in the Philippines said her family members in the Philippines are among those who lost homes and are in immediate need for food, shelter and supplies.
“While we try to reach them and pray for their well-being, I am thankful to see my company and colleagues working to help farmers and victims in the devastated areas,” said Ferguson in the announcement.