The South African government has called upon stakeholders to submit comments and attend stakeholder meetings on the 23rd and 24th October 2018, on the implications of South Africa acceding to the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 1991) and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agri
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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.
The Plant Breeders’ Rights and Plant Improvement Bills restrict the saving, trading, exchanging, and sale of seed. This can have massive ramifications on seed and food sovereignty, agricultural biodiversity, access to diverse seed, and increasing the disparities and inequalities in South African agriculture, food and nutrition.
Commentary on South Africa's Plant Improvement Bill and Plant Breeders' Rights Bill Download .pdf Concerns with the Revised Plant Improvement Act .pdf
Calls to decolonise our seed system at Gauteng public hearings on the Plant Improvement and Plant Breeders’ Rights Bills. Are there alternative systems that put farmers at the centre, do not reduce genetic and agricultural diversity, and support agroecology, seed and food sovereignty and resilience?
As we continue to engage and mobilise around the seed policy and legislation revisions, ACB has developed 2 easy-to-read documents outlining the central concerns and possible alternative directions for seed policy to move in South Africa.
ACB submitted comments on the Plant Breeders’ Rights and Plant Improvement Bills, to the Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources on the 24th January 2017. These bills restrict the saving, trading, exchanging, and sale of seed.
According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (UNFAO), over the course of the 20th century, 75% of the world's plant genetic diversity was lost, as local varieties and land races have been replaced with genetically uniform seed. A similar process in animal husbandry has put 53% of all livestock breeds at risk of extinction.