Biosafety TWN Briefing – Biosafety aspects of genome-editing techniques.
This Four-page document summarises the recent report published by the African Centre for Biodiversity: Transitioning out of GM maize: to agroecology for sustainable, socially just and nutritional food systems, that 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
This is the first set of easily-to-read and share material, and is available in 5 languages: English, Afrikaans, isiZulu, isiXhosa and Sesotho.
Comments on the revised draft regulations (draft 3) for implementing the Arusha Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants
Further comments on the revised regulations (draft 3) for the implementation of ARIPO’s Arusha Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, that will be submitted for adoption in December 2016. This paper focuses on some of the most problematic aspects that needs to be rectified by ARIPO Member States as these perpetuate impingement of national sovereignty; fail to safeguard Farmers’ Rights and farmer seed systems; and to prevent biopiracy. These comments have been produced without prejudice to our very strong opposition to the Arusha PVP Protocol and our consistent position that it represents an inappropriate regional legal framework for the ARIPO region, wherein 13 out of the 19 member states are least developed countries (LDCs) and under no legal obligation to implement plant variety protection (PVP) regimes.
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.
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.
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.
This report considers the N2Africa programme, which aims to develop and distribute improved, certified legume varieties (soya, common bean, groundnut and cow pea); promote and distribute inoculants and synthetic fertiliser; and develop commercial legume markets for smallholder integration in 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa: Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana (core countries); Kenya, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe
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?
What is Quality Declared Seed?
What are the DUS criteria?
Impacts of Seed Laws on farmer managed seed systems
Harmonisation of Africa’s seed laws through SADC and COMESA
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.