A Preliminary Report on Seeds and Seed Practices Across the United States Rights of Mother Earth/Defense of the Commons Workgroup, U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance -- Apr 2014 Based on the surveys and the Call to Action of the US Food Sovereignty Alliance, the report provides individual, community, national and international action recommendations aimed at defending seeds from privatization and preserving them for the common good.
Africa: Stealth Assault on African Seeds AfricaFocus Bulletin -- 19 Jan 2016 "There is a renewed and stronger assault on seed ... based on legal systems that permit exclusive rights over seeds on the spurious contention that plant varieties were 'discovered' and improved on. But these 'discovered' varieties are the product of the whole history of collective human improvements and maintenance carried out by peasants. To assert exclusive rights over the whole on the basis of small adjustments is nothing short of outright theft." - SouthSouth Dialogue, Durban, South Africa, November 2015
Africa-US Food Sovereignty Statement Seattle, WA, USA -- 13 Oct 2014 "We are brought together by a shared belief in just, sustainable and equitable food for all. We share a concern over the dangerous loss of agricultural biodiversity and of the loss of dignified and viable livelihoods in the countryside."
Against the Odds: Smallholder Farmers Maintain Agricultural Diversity in South Africa African Centre for Biodiversity -- Jan 2017 "Many small, diverse farms with decentralised but connected support systems present a living alternative to the corporate-industrial model. Resistance against corporate encroachment into food and seed systems, coupled with the practical development of alternatives are both required to confront the conditions facing smallholder farmers and their seed and production systems in South Africa today."
Big Biotech's African Seed Takeover [Article] The Ecologist -- 14 Oct 2014 "It's all part of the corporate takeover of the continent's agriculture at the expense of the small farmers who feed most of Africa's people."
Biotech Ambassadors: How the U.S. State Department Promotes the Seed Industry's Global Agenda U.S. VersionEU Version Food and Water Watch -- 2013
Carving up Africa: Aid Donors and Agribusiness Plot the Great Seed Privatization Ian Fitzpatrick & Oliver Tickell, The Ecologist -- 26th March 2015 "An elite group of aid donors and agribusiness corporations met in London this week to plan the takeover of Africa's seeds ... replacing traditional seed breeding and saving by small farmers with a corporate model of privatized, 'improved', patented, genetically uniform and hybrid seeds in a profit-driven market."
Celebrating Seeds [video, 12:42 minutes] Million Belay, MELCA, Ethiopia, in collaboration with DF Norway -- 23 Oct 2014
Declaration on Seed Freedom:Dr. Vandana Shiva, Navdanya, India Global Campaign on Seed Freedom -- Launched 22 June 2012 at Rio+20 Conference
Don't Let Food Be the Problem: Producing Too Much Food is What Starves the World Olivier De Shutter, Foreign Policy -- Jul/Aug 2015 "Food sovereignty has now left its rural origins and become a movement in which both consumers and producers seek to reclaim or reinvent food systems from the bottom up. Indeed, in all regions, groups of ordinary citizens are developing ways to gain autonomy and bypass the dominant industrial food systems."
Down on the Seed: The World Bank Enables the Corporate Takeover of Seeds The Oakland Institute, Alice Martin-Prével with support from Frederic Mousseau and Anuradha Mittal -- 2017 "Ignoring the calls of a wide range of experts for bottom-up seed solutions that benefit the poorest, the World Bank’s agribusiness indicator will foster seed scarcity for the sake of corporate profit."
Empire and Colonialism: Rich Men in London Still Deciding Africa's Future [Article] Colin Todhunter, Global Research -- 26 Mar 2015
European Parliament Slams G7 Food Project in Africa Cécile Barbière for EurActive, The Guardian -- 08 Jun 2016 “We have already made the mistake of intensive agriculture in Europe. We should not replicate it in Africa because this model destroys family farming and reduces biodiversity ...”
European Patents on Plants and Animals: Is the Patent Industry Taking Control of Our Food? Christoph Then and Ruth Tippe, No Patents on Seed -- 2014 This report illustrates how patents are on the verge of breaking through acceptable boundaries and putting our genetic resources at risk. Will our daily food soon be controlled by big corporations and the patent industry, or will our politicians make decisions to ensure that patents on plants and animals are prohibited?
Farmer Managed Seed Systems in Morogoro and Mvomero, Tanzania: The Disregarded Wealth of Smallholder Farmers African Centre for Biodiversity -- 2016 "This research was the first step in a process to identify the variety of seeds farmers are using, whether these seeds are suitable for their needs, what sorts of improvements farmers desire, and to determine if farmers are interested to take this issue further ..."
Grabbing Africa's Seeds: USAID, EU and Gates Foundation Back Agribusiness Seed Takeover Stephen Greenberg & Oliver Tickell, The Ecologist -- 23 Mar 2015 "The latest salvo in the battle over Africa's seed systems has been fired ... with the Gates Foundation and USAID playing puppet-masters to Africa's governments ... as they drive forward corporation-friendly seed regulations that exclude and marginalize the small farmers whose seeds and labour feed the continent."
Graz Declaration: Freedom for Diversity 5th European Seed Meeting, Graz, Austria -- 25-27 Mar 2010
Harmonization of Africa's Seed Laws: A Recipe for Disaster Players, Motives and Dynamics Africa Centre for Biodiversity -- Nov 2012
Integration of Small-Scale Farmers into Formal Seed Production in South Africa: A Scoping Report African Centre for Biodiversity -- Apr 2016 "Centrally, the report makes a compelling case for an alternative and potentially more useful approach to support black small-scale farmer seed production within farmer seed systems (outside the formal sector), rather than trying to integrate small-scale farmers into commercial production systems where they stand little chance of competing effectively."
Land and Seed Laws Under Attack: Who is Pushing Changes in Africa [Report] Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), GRAIN -- 21 Jan 2015 Portuguese Version "The 50 million people that the G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition claims to be lifting out of poverty will only be allowed to escape poverty and hunger if they abandon their traditional rights and practices and buy their life saving seeds every year from the corporations lined up behind the G8." – Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement, member of AFSA, September 2014
Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds [Film, 82 minutes] A film by Sean Kaminsky, Open Pollinated Productions -- 2015 In this film you will meet a diverse range of individuals whose lives center around seeds. Farmers. Renegade gardeners. Passionate seed savers. Artists. Seed activists. This film tells the story of seeds by following their challenges and triumphs as they work to save this precious resource. It’s not too late…yet.
Open Source Seed Initiative [Website] OSSI Pledge: "This Open Source Seed pledge is intended to ensure your freedom to use the seed contained herein in any way you choose, and to make sure those freedoms are enjoyed by all subsequent users. By opening this packet, you pledge that you will not restrict others’ use of these seeds and their derivatives by patents, licenses, or any other means. You pledge that if you transfer these seeds or their derivatives they will also be accompanied by this pledge."
Owning Seeds, Accessing Food: A Human Rights Impact Assessment of UPOV 1991 based on Case Studies in Kenya, Peru and the Philippines Published by The Berne Declaration (BD), with the participation of Bread for the World – Protestant Development Service, Community Technology Development Trust, Development Fund – Norway, Misereor, SEARICE, Third World Network -- Oct 2014 "New research shows, the expansion of intellectual property rights on seeds might well restrict small-scale farmers’ practices of seed saving and use, exchange and selling in the informal seed supply system, limiting access to seeds and putting their right to food at risk."
Poster Training Materials for African Smallholder Farmers African Centre for Biodiversity -- Oct 2015 "Training Materials for smallholder farmers in Africa in several languages on a range of topics including on: the value of farmer seed systems; Intellectual property rights and UPOV 1991; ARIPO PVP Protocol; women as custodians of seed and many more."
Seed Law Training Posters African Centre for Biodiversity -- Aug 2016 In 8 languages and containing 7 themes: 1. What is a Seed Law; 2. What is Quality Declared Seed; 3. What are the DUS criteria; 4. Impacts of Seed Laws on farmer managed seed systems; 5. Harmonisation of Africa’s seed laws through SADC and COMESA; 6. Impacts of harmonisation of seed laws on farmer managed seed systems and small scale farmers; 7. Seed sovereignty for small-scale farmers. Please contact the ACB office, Office@acbio.org.za, for information on ordering the posters.
Seed Laws that Criminalise Farmers: Resistance and Fightback La Via Campesina and GRAIN -- Apr 2015 "Seeds are under attack everywhere. Under corporate pressure, laws in many countries increasingly put limitations on what farmers can do with their seeds and with the seeds they buy. Seed saving, a thousand-year-old practice which forms the basis of farming, is fast becoming criminalised. What can we do about this?"
Seed Libraries: and Other Means of Keeping Seeds in the HANDS of the PEOPLE Cindy Conner, New Society Publications -- Dec 2014 "Whoever controls the seeds controls the food supply. By empowering communities to preserve and protect the genetic diversity of their harvest, 'Seed Libraries' is the first step towards reclaiming our self-reliance while enhancing food security and ensuring that the future of food is healthy, vibrant, tasty, and nutritious."
Seed Map: Online Portal on Seeds, Biodiversity, and Food [Website] Project of USC Canada and ETC Group
Seed: The Untold Story [Documentary] Taggart Siegel, Jon Betz -- 2016 "Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds. Worshipped and treasured since the dawn of humankind. SEED: The Untold Story follows passionate seed keepers protecting our 12,000 year-old food legacy. In the last century, 94% of our seed varieties have disappeared. As biotech chemical companies control the majority of our seeds, farmers, scientists, lawyers, and indigenous seed keepers fight a David and Goliath battle to defend the future of our food. In a harrowing and heartening story, these reluctant heroes rekindle a lost connection to our most treasured resource and revive a culture connected to seeds."
Seeds for Life: Scaling Up Agro-Biodiversity Teresa Anderson and Christine Campeau, The Gaia Foundation, Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, African Biodiversity Network -- 16 Oct 2013 Urgent action is needed to ensure that farmers today can grow resilient, nutritious food for us all, in the face of climate change and other challenges. At the core of such action must be strategies to revive the diversity of seed that has been lost from the world’s fields, and to support the knowledge and diversity that remains.
Seeds of Sovereignty [Video] (Builds on the above film, Seeds of Freedom) Film by Jess Phillimore, Gaia Foundation and African Biodiversity Network -- Dec 2013 "At the heart of each community’s story lies the seed, symbol of renewal and life. Exploring their relationship to seed and its deep cultural and spiritual significance, the film draws attention to the vital importance of seed diversity to humanity’s collective resilience and health and that of the ecosystems we rely on." 36.34 minutes
Seeds of Justice [Video] (Builds on the above films) Film by Jess Phillimore, Gaia Foundation -- Dec 2015 36:45 minutes
State of Organic Seed, 2016 Kristina Hubbard & Jared Zystro, Organic Seed Alliance -- Jun 2016 "The purpose of our State of Organic Seed project is to measure the progress we’re making in increasing the availability, quality, and integrity of organic seed. We envision an organic food system built on a foundation of organic seed. This report serves as an important summary of ongoing challenges to achieving this goal, and includes updated recommendations to guide research, education, and policy efforts for the next five years"
The Unholy Alliance: Five Western Donors Shape a Pro-Corporate Agenda for African Agriculture Alice Martin-Prével, The Oakland Institute -- 2016 "In recent years, prominent international donors’ initiatives have focused on supporting industrial agriculture and large agribusiness companies at the expense of family farmers. The World Bank’s 'Enabling the Business of Agriculture' (EBA), is one of these initiatives."
Towards Food Sovereignty in Africa: Nurture the Environment and Put Farmers at the Centre [Statement] Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), issued from Lome, Togo -- 19 July 2014
UPOV91: The Apartheid Seed Law: Why Would Anyone Want to Destroy Farmers' Experimentation and Knowledge? Carol Thompson, Pambazuka News -- 03 Jun 2015 UPOV91 is trying to establish, by law, the inferior status of smallholder farmers who breed and do scientific experiments in the field. It legitimizes the corporate plant breeders' entitlement and presumed superiority. The normative law translates back into profit for the corporations benefiting from PVP - plant variety protection. This constructed distinction between two different types of breeding becomes a "ritual of truth".
UPOV 91 and Other Seed Laws: A Basic Primer on How Companies Intend to Control and Monopolize Seeds, GRAIN -- 21 Oct 2015 "All over the world, farmer’s seeds and seed systems are under attack. Corporations are pushing for ever more aggressive new laws and regulations that criminalise farmers for sowing, keeping, exchanging, and taking care of their seeds. If companies get their way, farmers around the world will face the possibility of being jailed or harshly fined for doing what they have been doing over centuries."
Water for Food Security and Nutrition Report by the High Level Panel on Food Security & Nutrition, Committee on World Food Security, Rome -- 15 May 2015 "Safeguarding water for the dignity, health, food and nutrition security of everyone on the planet is one of humanity’ biggest challenges. The analysis and the recommendations of this report are a contribution to this ambitious roadmap."
World Crop Diversity Survives in Small Farms from Peri-Urban to Remote Rural Locations Karl Zimmerer, Penn State University, article published in EurekAlert! (service of American Association for the Advancement of Science) -- 13 Feb 2015 "As much as 75 percent of global seed diversity in staple food crops is held and actively used by a wide range of small farmholders -- workers of less than three to seven acres -- with the rest in gene banks, according to a Penn State geographer."
Yvapuruvu Declaration: Seed Laws - Resisting Dispossession Alianza Biodiversidad, Red por una América Latina Libre de Transgénicos, and Vía Campesina World Seeds Campaign -- Paraguay 17-18 Oct 2013