Published: Sunday 15 November 1998

An alliance between the Bangladesh's Grameen Bank and US-based Monsanto company, a biotechnology corporation, is a cause of concern for farmers- Under the deal, the farmers will be offered small loans to buy "appropriate, environment-sensitive" agricultural technologies, including Mon santo's own proprietary herbicides and hybrid rice and cotton - both important crops in Bangladesh. The Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), a NGO which has assessed the impact of new technology, believes that Monsanto's seeds are often designed to become sterile after the first season. RAFI is mobilising other social organisations to oppose the deal.

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