Tag Archive: agroecology

ARIPO sells out African Farmers, seals Secret Deal on Plant Variety Protection

Statement issued by the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA)

On 06 July 2015, in Arusha, Tanzania, a Diplomatic Conference held under the auspices of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) adopted a harmonised regional legal framework for the protection of plant breeders’ rights—the Arusha Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (the ‘Arusha PVP Protocol’).
The Arusha PVP Protocol is a slightly revised version of a previous Draft ARIPO Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (the ‘ARIPO PVP Protocol’). The previous Draft has come under consistent and severe attack by the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) because it is based on a Convention known as UPOV 1991—a restrictive and inflexible international legal precept, totally unsuitable for Africa. Crucially, the ARIPO PVP Protocol proposed extremely strong intellectual property rights to breeders while restricting the age-old practices of African farmers freely to save, use, share and sell seeds and/or propagating material. These practices are the backbone of agricultural systems in Sub-Saharan Africa; they have ensured the production and maintenance of a diverse pool of genetic resources by farmers themselves, and have safe-guarded food and nutrition for tens of millions of Africans

Agroecology in South Africa: policy and practice

The African Centre for Biosafety has prepared a discussion document on agroecology-related policy in South Africa, and included a few examples of agroecology practices in South Africa. We trust that this document will contribute to the recently launched Food Sovereignty Campaign and the progress of agroecology practice being made on the ground in South Africa.

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Manipulate and Mislead: How GMOs Are Infiltrating Africa

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The most persistent myth about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is that they are necessary to feed a growing global population. Highly effective marketing campaigns have drilled it into our heads that GMOs will produce more food on less land in an environmentally friendly manner. The mantra has been repeated so often that it is considered to be truth. Now this mantra has come to Africa, sung by the United States government and multinational corporations like Monsanto, seeking to open new markets for a product that has been rejected by so many others around the globe.

While many countries have implemented strict legal frameworks to regulate GMOs, African nations have struggled with the legal, scientific and infrastructural resources to do so. This has delayed the introduction of GMOs into Africa, but it has also provided the proponents of GMOs a plum opportunity to offer their assistance, in the process helping to craft laws on the continent that promote the introduction of barely regulated GMOs and create investor-friendly environments for agribusiness. Their line is that African governments must adopt GMOs as a matter of urgency to deal with hunger and that laws implementing pesky and expensive safety measures, or requiring assessments

ACB Comments on National Strategy on Agroecology

The Department of Agriculture is in the process of developing a Strategy for Agroecology for South Africa, with the aim of achieving ?an ecologically, socially and economically sustainable agro-ecology sector that contributes towards poverty alleviation, job creation, food security, economic development, climate change mitigation and adaptation?. It is not clear where the drive for this Strategy emerges from, given that South Africa did not support the findings of the IAASTD when it was up for signature in Johannesburg in 2008. However, the proposed Strategy seems to posit agroecology as another production technology, an add-on to our current system, rather than a transformation of our deeply entrenched industrial agricultural system, which is based on the privatization of agricultural resources and knowledge to deploy an environmentally destructive production system, ever at the mercy of skewed global trade relations.

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