The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa strongly condemns the approval during September 2013, by the Council of Ministers of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) of the draft COMESA Seed Trade Harmonization Regulations, 2013 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Seed Regulations’).
The COMESA Seed Regulations will greatly facilitate agricultural transformation in the COMESA member states towards industrialization of farming systems based on the logic of the highly controversial, failed and hopelessly doomed Green Revolution model of agriculture. The COMESA Regulations are geared towards creating an enabling environment for massively increased private sector participation in seed trade in the COMESA region as it promotes only one type of seed breeding, namely industrial seed breeding involving the use of advanced breeding technologies.
We demand that the COMESA Seed regulations be scrapped in their entirety. We call upon donors to desist from supporting the implementation of these regulations, which undermine our national sovereignty and policy space. We call for an open, transparent process, involving small farmers especially, to discuss appropriate seed laws for Africa, where the obligation of protecting biodiversity, farmers’ rights and overall ecological productivity is entrenched as a primary objective.
The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) represents as a continental voice against the ongoing imposition of industrial agriculture in Africa and for food sovereignty through ecological agriculture. AFSA is a broad based alliance of African regional farmers’ networks and African NGO networks along with various other allies. The aim is to bring greater continental cohesion to an already developing food sovereignty movement in Africa.