Thursday, July 12, 2018

Black farmers were deliberately sold ‘fake seeds’ in scheme to steal their land: report

Black farmers were deliberately sold ‘fake seeds’ in scheme to steal their land: report

They bought certified seeds and got counterfeit instead. "Thomas Burrell, president of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association, explained how black farmers were receiving one-tenth of the yield as their white neighbors. “Mother nature doesn’t discriminate,” Burrell said. “It doesn’t rain on white farms but not black farms. Insects don’t [only] attack black farmers’ land…why is it then that white farmers are buying Stine seed and their yield is 60, 70, 80, and 100 bushels of soybeans and black farmers who are using the exact same equipment with the exact same land, all of a sudden, your seeds are coming up 5, 6, and 7 bushels?” The results were so stark, resulting in millions of dollars in losses, the farmers took their seeds for scientific testing by experts at Mississippi State University. The tests revealed the black farmers had not been given the quality “certified” Stine seeds for which they had paid. Burrell suggested a land grab was the ultimate motivation of the perpetrators. “All we have to do is look at here: 80 years ago you had a million black farmers, today you have less than 5,000. These individuals didn’t buy 16 million acres of land, just to let is lay idle. The sons and daughters, the heirs of black farmers want to farm, just like the sons and daughters of white farmers.” “So we have to acknowledge that racism is the motivation here,” Burrell concluded. The farmers have filed a class-action lawsuit in United States District Court for the Western Division in Memphis."

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