Latest Resources

Registration of farmers’ varieties in SADC

Key Issues emerging from the dialogue between CSOs and SADC, African governments August 2020 The registration of farmer varieties is a controversial issue. On the one hand, it is argued that registration facilitates accessible opportunities and benefits for local farmers, such as increasing visibility of varieties, promotion and protection of indigenous knowledge, and opportunities for […]

Alternatives to FISP: Farm Input Subsidy Programmes in Africa

In August 2018, the Rural Women’s Assembly (RWA) and the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) hosted a speak-out for SADC smallholder farmers in Windhoek, Namibia, on Farm Input Subsidy Programmes (FISPs). FISPs are government agricultural programmes that promote the use of Green Revolution inputs produced by multinational corporations. These top-down packages have proven to be […]

The SADC PVP Protocol: Blueprint for uptake of UPOV 1991 in Africa

In the recently published discussion paper, ‘The SADC PVP Protocol: Blueprint for uptake of UPOV 1991 in Africa’, Sabrina Masinjila and Mariam Mayet, provide an updated critique on the regional Plant Variety Protection (PVP) system developed under the auspices of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) – the SADC PVP protocol – adopted by the […]

Face to Face: African CSOs confront ARIPO, SADC over Draconian Harmonised Seed Laws

The ACB has the pleasure of sharing with you a short 5-minute video of the Southern African seed law and seed sovereignty dialogue, Face to Face: African CSOs confront ARIPO, SADC over Draconian Harmonised Seed Laws, co-hosted by the ACB in partnership with PELUM-Zimbabwe, which took place in Harare, Zimbabwe, 28-30th June 2017. Please watch […]

Art, Seed Sovereignty and Activism: Weaving New Stories

Preparing for the National Seed Dialogue and Celebration, hosted by the African Centre for Biodiversity, smallholder farmers, activists and government officials are crowded into the atrium of the Women’s Jail at Constitution Hill and a drum is beating. A performer, Simo Mpapa Majola, dressed in blankets, is praying and singing and imploring the audience. He […]

Status report on the SADC, COMESA and EAC harmonised seed trade regulations: Where does this leav...

The Status Report on the SADC, COMESA and EAC harmonised seed trade regulations: Where does this leave the regions’ smallholder farmers? researched and written by Linzi Lewis and Sabrina Masinjila of the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), provides a brief background and status update on efforts by regional economic communities to harmonise seed trade and […]

Harmonised corporate seed laws in Africa: Where does this leave smallholder farmers?

The expansion of the corporate seed market, embedded in the green revolution agenda in sub-Saharan Africa is progressing very fast. This expansion is going hand in hand with regional policies and regulations – in a process also known as seed harmonisation – that will enable facilitate trade across national borders. This has been the case […]

Seed sovereignty for Peasant Farmers in Malawi blocked by emerging national seed policy

The government of Malawi is poised to adopt a draconian National Seed Policy that blocks peasant farmers’ opportunities to secure and strengthen farmer-managed seed systems (FMSS), and which would undermine farmers’ rights and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, to which Malawi is a Party. An ad hoc stakeholder policy […]

Towards socially just and ecologically sustainable seed policies for Africa: Farmers, CSOs meet i...

Seed policy in sub-Saharan Africa is developing and changing fast, as the seed industry continues to expand its reach. A huge amount of energy and resources are being directed at harmonising seed and intellectual property legislation at the regional level through regional economic communities. Harmonised regional seed laws influence the shaping of national seed legislation, […]

What is a seed law?

Training Materials produced by the ACB for smallholder farmers in Africa in several languages on a range of topics dealing with seed and plant variety protection laws, including on: The value of farmer-managed seed systems; UPOV 1991 and farmers’ rights; the Arusha PVP Protocol; women as custodians of seed, what is a seed law, harmonisation […]