African Countries

African Countries

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.

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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

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

Farm Input Subsidy Programmes (FISPs): A Benefit for, or the Betrayal of, SADC’s Small-Scale Farmers?

This paper reviews the farm input subsidy programmes (FISPs) within countries belonging to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), to ascertain whether input subsidies have benefited small-scale farmers, have increased food security at the household and national levels, and have improved the incomes of small-scale farmers.

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GREEN REVOLUTION DEAD-END IN MALAWI: Two Case Studies— AGRA’s Pigeon Pea Project and Malawi’s Agro-Dealer Strengthening Programme (MASP)

This report that the Alliance for a Green Revolution’s ( AGRA’s) sponsored pigeon pea project in Malawi was a dismal failure and its agrodealer project had some major and fundamental weaknesses.

The AGRA pigeon pea project and the Malawi Agro-dealer Strengthening Programme (MASP) were implemented under AGRA’s Soil Health Programme (SHP) and the Programme for Africa’s Seed Systems (PASS),respectively.

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Integration of small-scale farmers into formal seed production in South Africa

The scoping report looks at key policies, legislation and programmes in SA with an emphasis on seed laws and considers the implications for small- scale farmer involvement in this sector and outlines a few projects on community seed production, indigenous crops and black- owned private sector seed production efforts.

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Changing Seed and Plant Variety Protection Laws in Tanzania – Implications for Farmer-Managed Seed Systems and Smallholder Farmers

Seed legislation is under review in Tanzania with a view to changing this in order to further expand the role of the private sector in the commercial seed sector. This law reform is mainly targeted at the seed marketing laws (Seed Act of 2003 and its regulations of 2007) and revision of its Plant Breeder’s Rights legislation. This research report discusses Tanzania’s recent reform of its Plant Breeders’ Rights Act 2012, the country joining of UPOV 1991 and the influence of various seed harmonization initiatives and its implications for the disregarded small- holder farmer managed seed system that dominates agriculture production in the country.


Download Summary (pdf) report in English 1,3Mb
Download Summary report in Kiswahil 1,4Mbi
Download Full report in English 1,7Mb