The African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) is deeply concerned that South Africa’s draconian corporate seed Bills were approved by the Parliamentary Select Committee on the 22nd May 2018, with no substantial changes being made. This despite a number of provinces having rejected the Bills entirely on the basis that they did not adequately serve the interests of smallholder farmers, while other provinces proposed amendments to accommodate concerns before supporting the Bills. Indeed, Provincials came under heavy fire by farmers, non-governmental organisations and the public at large because the Seed Bills ignore and undermine the significant role that smallholders can and do play in the development, maintenance and conservation of genetic and agricultural biodiversity, and in food production and provision.
Press Release from the African Centre for Biodiversity
Johannesburg, Thursday 5 April 2018
Limited transparency, weak accountability, and capture by corporations and politically-connected individuals. These are features of the current South African landscape found in government’s smallholder farmer support programmes, according to a research report by African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) released today.
The report, titled “Input supply in South Africa’s smallholder farmer support programmes: A tale of neo-apartheid plans, dodgy dealings and corporate capture” raises concerns about publicly-funded programmes that are supposed to be assisting smallholder farmers.
Genetically modified (GM) “male-sterile” mosquitoes are due to be released in Burkina Faso this year by the Target Malaria research consortium. However, Target Malaria acknowledges that there are no benefits to the proposed GM mosquito release.
The project is set to apply for a permit to make an open release of 10,000 GM Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes: most likely in the village of Bana, west of Bobo Dioulasso.
The GM mosquitoes were exported from Imperial College in London to Burkina Faso in November 2016 and are currently in “contained use” facilities.