From the 18-20 October 2018, the Good Food and Seed Festival was held at the Harare Botanical Gardens in Zimbabwe. Edmore Parichi, Busi Mgangxela and Aviwe Biko are small-scale farmers from Eastern Cape in South Africa who took part in this very important event with support from African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB). All the provinces of Zimbabwe were represented including farmers from Zambia and Malawi. Present from Zimbabwe were Zimbabwe Small holder Organic Farmers' Forum (ZIMSOFF), Cluster Agricultural Development Services (CADS), research institutes, students from institutions of higher learning, seed companies, NGO staff, Tsuro Trust, government personnel and buyers. The purpose of this festival was to create a platform where small-scale farmers share information, knowledge and seeds and to build farmer skills and networking in marketing their produce.
In an effort to highlight the complex and concentrated South African agricultural and food system, with its unsustainable and deepening inequality, the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) and partner organisations initiated a “no GMO-maize campaign” earlier in 2018. This was followed up in August 2018, with a meeting of organisations that included Zingisa, Ntinga Ntaba ka Ndoda, Ilizwi Lamafama, Mxumbu Youth Cooperative, Calabash Trust and Khanyisa, in the misty Hogsback mountains in the Eastern Cape. The Hogsback meeting provided a space to bring us all together, in one dance, one voice, one direction; to revive our objectives, and remind us of how we can facilitate a transition to agroecology, and seed and food sovereignty.
Recently the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) held national consultations on whether South Africa should accede to two international agreements related to seed: The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA, or the Treaty) and the International Convention on the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) 1991.