South Africa’s new seed law and its impacts on farmer seed systems and agricultural biodiversity

In this updated briefing, the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) reflects on how the new Plant Improvement Act (PIA) 2018 will further undermine the rights of small-scale farmers while expanding the rights of the corporate agricultural sector, further entrenching its domination.

The PIA, together with the new Plant Breeder’s Rights Act (PBR) 2018, was approved by Parliament last October and has been signed into law this March by the President. The issues regarding these two Acts are interlinked and you can find the briefing on the PBR here.

While there remain significant issues to be clarified in the regulations, farmers’ rights and the role of FMSS are not addressed in current agriculture and seed policies. This requires a separate process, bringing together the diversity of stakeholders working across the agriculture, environment and conservation sectors, to ensure farmers’ rights, farmers’ seed, and farmers’ seed systems are adequately recognised, strengthened and supported.

 

Please see the links to both the seed briefing papers, as well as the press release below:

Plant Breeders Act New Seed Law

Press release South Africa¹s new seed and PVP Acts undermine farmers¹ rights and entrench corporate capture, control and domination

 

For further information, please see these previous ACB publications on this issue:

Parliamentary consultation & decision making on SA’s Corporate Seed Bills a Sham!!

Reflections on ITPGRFA, UPOV 1991 and South Africa

ACB's comments on the Plant Breeders Rights Bill

Concerns with the Revised Plant Breeders’ Rights Act