Monsanto has conceived of an ingenious smallholders’ programme known as the ‘Seeds of Hope Campaign’, which targets the ‘bottom of the pyramid’-very low-income consumers who have substantial purchasing power as a group.

Closed markets in Europe, worldwide consumer rejection, heated international debates about the risks of GMOs, and the intransigence of Africa, sans, South Africa, to commercially accept GMOs, hugely threatened Monsanto’s market share in the agricultural biotechnology industry.

Thus, during the 1990s, Monsanto introduced ‘Combi- Packs’- boxes of materials designed specifically for smallholder farmers, having access to anything from 5 hectares of land. The boxes contain a package of hybrid maize seed, some fertilizer, some herbicide, and pictogram instructions for illiterate users.

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