The ACB is committed to dismantling inequalities in the food and agriculture systems in Africa and the promotion of agro-ecology and food sovereignty.

World Food Day – South Africa faces drought, rising food prices and false promises of GMOs

To cope with drought and rising food prices, we need to urgently move away from genetically modified food and towards indigenous African crops. So warns the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB).
“We need to urgently shift away from maize towards embracing a diversity of crops – particularly indigenous African summer grain crops such as sorghum and millet – and agro ecology,” says ACB director, Mariam Mayet.
Coinciding with World Food Day, the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), has released an important report. It is called “Transitioning out of GM maize: towards nutrition security, climate adaptation, agro-ecology and social justice.”
It makes a compelling case for South Africa to urgently transition out of GM maize production, to systems that are socially just, ecologically sustainable and provide nutrition security for a rapidly urbanising population in the face of the current crippling drought.
According to Mariam Mayet, Director of the ACB, “South Africa is at a crossroads: either it must abandon Monsanto’s GM maize including its bogus drought tolerant GM maize seed or face an economic, social and ecological crisis.”
The report shows that the current maize production system is unsustainable for a number of ecological and economic reasons:
Over-reliance on genetically modified

Transitioning out of GM maize: Current drought is an opportunity for a more resilient and just food system

Coinciding with World Food Day, the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), in a new report titled “Transitioning out of GM maize: towards nutrition security, climate adaptation, agro-ecology and social justice” makes a compelling case for South Africa to urgently transition out of GM maize production, to systems that are socially just, ecologically sustainable and provide nutrition security for a rapidly urbanising population in the face of the current crippling drought. It argues that we need to urgently shift away from the mono-focus on a maize towards embracing a diversity of crops – particularly indigenous African summer grain crops such as sorghum and millet – and diverse agricultural practices that support healthy ecosystems, economies and societies.

Download the PDF report 1,5Mb

Download a 4 pager Lobby document in 5 languages.

 

Farmer-managed seed systems in Dowa, Malawi: A legacy of eroded confidence and agricultural diversity after decades of Green Revolution implementation

This report is the product of field work conducted by ACB and Kusamala Institute for Agriculture and Ecology in Dowa district in central Malawi. The objective of the research was to deepen our understanding of the role of farmer seed varieties in smallholder production systems that have come under heavy pressure from concerted Green Revolution interventions; to look at the extent of agricultural biodiversity loss; and to identify farmer priorities in ensuring adequate diversity ad resilience of seed into the future.

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Mapping farmer seed varieties in Manica, Mozambique: initial investigations into agricultural biodiversity

This scoping exercise to deepen our understanding of the current context of seed use, main crops and varieties in the research localities in order to gather evidence of the ongoing importance of farmer seed systems in the agricultural practices and livelihoods of smallholder farmers, to identify cases of biodiversity loss and to use this information to build the case for the importance of protecting and supporting farmer-managed seed systems (FMSS) on the continent.

Download the Mozambique Field report

Download PORTUGUESE language of the Mozambique Field report

N2 Africa, the Gates Foundation and Legume commercialisation in Africa

This report considers the N2Africa programme, which aims to develop and distribute improved, certified legume varieties (soya, common bean, groundnut and cow pea); promote and distribute inoculants and synthetic fertiliser; and develop commercial legume markets for smallholder integration in 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa: Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana (core countries); Kenya, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe

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Easy to read Seed Posters

Previously, the ACB shared with you, easy to read seed posters on intellectual property rights, UPOV 1991, the Arusha Plant Variety Protection Protocol etc. and implications for small holder farmers and farmers’ rights.

Now, we are happy to announce the release of a second set of easy to read seed posters, dealing with seed laws that regulate the release, certification and marketing of seed nationally and regionally. These posters represent our continuing efforts to share knowledge and information about the threats these laws pose to the protection of farmers’ rights, farmer managed seed systems and food sovereignty.


WHAT IS A SEED LAW?

Seed-Law | Afrikaans | English | French | Portuguese | Shona | Swahili | Xhosa | Zulu


What is Quality Declared Seed?

Quality-declared-seed | Afrikaans | English | French | Portuguese | Shona | Swahili | Xhosa | Zulu


What are the DUS criteria?

DUS-Criteria | Afrikaans | English | French | Portuguese | Shona | Swahili | Xhosa | Zulu


Impacts of Seed Laws on farmer managed seed systems

Seed-Laws-FMSS | Afrikaans | English | French | Portuguese | Shona | Swahili | Xhosa | Zulu


Harmonisation of Africa’s seed laws through SADC and COMESA

SADC-COMESA | Afrikaans | English |

Farmer Managed Seed Systems in Morogoro and Mvomero, Tanzania: The disregarded wealth of smallholder farmers

In this report by the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), in partnership with Mtandao wa Vikundi vya Wakulima Tanzania (MVIWATA) and Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT),  based on field work conducted in Morogoro and Mvomero in 2016. It is a continuation of a research partnership with MVIWATA and SAT started in 2014, which has focused on seed, particularly the farmer-managed seed system, and soil fertility in the context of building agro-ecology as an alternative to the Green Revolution.

Download Tanzania Field Report in
English

Download Tanzania Field Report in Swahili

ACB comments on revised Draft Regulations (Draft 2) for Implementing the Arusha Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants

The revised regulations for the implementation of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation’s (ARIPO’s) Arusha Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants continues to perpetuate the impingement of national sovereignty, fails to safeguard farmers’ rights and farmer seed systems and to provide safeguards against biopiracy. These comments, submitted to ARIPO, raise concerns and offer alternative proposals.

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Related information

AFSA Press Release: ARIPO PVP Regulations: Ferocious Campaign against Seed Saving Farmers in Africa and State Sovereignty, Monday, June 13, 2016

ACB Preliminary comments on Draft Regulations Implementing the Arusha Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants…

ACB Preliminary comments on Draft Regulations Implementing the Arusha Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants

Draft Regulations for the implementation of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation’s (ARIPO’s) Arusha Protocol for the Protection of New Plant Varieties (Arusha Protocol), were considered for adoption in June 2016. The proposed regulations included provisions designed to intimidate and force seed processors, seed suppliers, government certification officers and even farmers’ organisations to police and spy on farmers who use farm-saved protected seed. These comments strongly object to many aspects of the regulations and offer alternative proposals aimed at safeguarding national sovereignty as well as farmers’ rights.

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Related information

AFSA Press Release: ARIPO PVP Regulations: Ferocious Campaign against Seed Saving Farmers in Africa and State Sovereignty, Monday, June 13, 2016

ACB comments on revised Draft Regulations (Draft 2) for Implementing the Arusha Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants

 

Soil fertility: Agro-ecology and not the Green Revolution for Africa

This synthesis report summarises ACB’s research on the Green Revolution push in Africa, based on fieldwork conducted in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe over the past three years. The research indicates that the promotion of synthetic fertiliser use in Africa is only a short-term fix for enhancing soil fertility on the continent. In the long run these interventions, spearheaded by organisations such as fertiliser multinational Yara and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), may even lead to lasting damage to the fragile soil life that is the key to sustainable soil health

Download the report