07 October 2014
Community Seeds Banks emerged about 30 years ago as a response to biological diversity loss, increasing corporate control over seeds and the impact of natural disasters and climate change on crop production.
09 September 2014
African farmers' ability to freely save and trade their seeds is under increasing threat from powerful seeds companies and a variety of complex new laws.
“Keeping our seed is a collective responsibility. Seed is our wealth. It is neither hers nor mine. It is ours. So we have a joint responsibility. The modern seed is like a stranger or a guest, just like you are. You may indulge us for a day or two, but when you leave tomorrow, it is us who will remain. Just like that, our local seeds will never leave us”
04 December 2014
At a time when seed corporations are pressuring African governments to pass new laws which will create legally-binding seed monopolies (as in Ghana), it is critical that our campaigning efforts are directed at stopping these ‘Monsanto laws’ as well as supporting the alternatives to them. Although the playing field is about as level as a cliff face – just ten corporations own more than 75 per cent of all commercial seeds planted across the world – almost 80 per cent of all seeds used in Africa still come from farmer-managed seed systems.
23 March 2015
Today US AID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are hosting an invite-only, secret meeting with aid donors and big seed companies to discuss a strategy to make it easier for seed companies to sell patented ‘improved’ seeds in Africa. However this agenda will increase corporate control over seeds, benefitting big companies at the expense of small farmers in Africa.
‘Whoever controls seeds, controls the food system’
14 October 2016
Seeds are an emotive issue. Across the globe, generations of farmers have been able to save seeds from each year's crops, store them, exchange them and re-use them in the next season. Seeds are the source of our food and for many communities seeds lie at the heart of culture. Women are traditionally the seed-savers, passing on knowledge down the generations, which seeds are suitable for different climatic conditions, soil types, which foods go well together when cooked, which seeds planted next to each other fix the nitrogen in the soil and so on.
11 August 2016
We are told that Tanzania has an abundance of available fertile land, but that production is inefficient, based on many small farms, and needs modernisation through private sector investment in large-scale high-input industrial agriculture. Critics maintain that Africa has been lined up for corporate agribusiness market penetration, with a focus on land and water, food and bio-fuels.
15 May 2015
As I travelled around Ghana this last couple of weeks, I met many farmers and communities who echoed sentiments around seeds and the paramount role that seeds play for farmers and their communities. But this is all under threat by a proposed bill – dubbed the ‘Monsanto Law'.
When farmers plant a variety of seeds in their field they are thought of as backward by agribusiness corporations which maintain that genetically modified (GM) and hybrid varieties are the future of farming. Yet through millennia of traditional seed breeding, humans have developed thousands of different varieties for food crops across the world. Seed diversity allows farmers control over their food system, protects biodiversity and builds resilience against climate change.
06 November 2014
This week, WDM called on the UK Government to stop the backing the corporate takeover of seeds in Africa and beyond, and to protect the seed sovereignty for farmers instead. In just a few days, we’ve got cross-party support from MPs who have signed a ‘Seed Sovereignty’ early day motion in Parliament.
20 November 2014
The battle against the corporate control of seeds is a struggle for many around the globe. Our friend Naira talks about the situtation in Colombia.
27 November 2014
When Ghana’s government embarked on passing a set of new seed policies into law last year, they were probably hoping to do so quietly. After all, they knew that if the Plant Breeders’ Bill came to the attention of the country’s farmers there would be mass opposition. The bill proposes a new intellectual property rights system for seeds that would allow powerful companies to patent seed varieties they lay claim to.
31 May 2016
“The chemical based model of farming drains income because you have to buy seeds and buy fertilisers, to buy insecticide and buy pesticide. Organic farming is a lot more successful [and I don’t have] to buy from the shop.”
These words are the simple no nonsense evaluation of the industrial model of farming by Hadiji Kibwana, a small-scale farmer in Tanzania. Put in a different way, why buy chemicals when ecological methods are free, more effective and better for the environment?
Food sovereignty activists protest a secret elite meeting being held in London convened by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The small-scale farmers' right to store and share seeds, in countries like Ghana, is under threat by the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition - an aid programme supported by the UK.
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