Latest Seed Sovereignty Resources

UPOV-aligned PVP laws impinge on farmer seed systems

We stand united in our commitment to addressing the pervasive push for the adoption of plant variety protection (PVP) laws in Africa, aligned with the Eurocentric International Union for Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) 1991 model. We continue to declare our unwavering dedication to championing a just and sustainable agricultural future for the […]

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Seed harmonisation in Eastern and Southern Africa

Failures, corporate occupation, and the rise of digitalised seed trade: dire implications for farmer managed seed and food systems in Africa Regional seed policy harmonisation processes on seed and plant variety protection (PVP) legislation have been underway for the past 15 years on the African continent. These have taken place under the auspices of various […]

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Zimbabwean smallholder farmers show us the way towards alternative food systems

– by Dr Stephen Greenberg These reflections come from attending a farmer exchange in October 2022, hosted by the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) and Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) Zimbabwe, in collaboration with Towards Sustainable Use of Resources Organisation (TSURO) and Community Technology Development Organisation (CTDO). The 35 participants, including farmers, non-government organisations […]

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The changing nature of Kenya’s seed sector: lessons from the potato seed industry

In this paper, we discuss the changes taking place in the Kenyan seed sector, with a focus on potato. The changes paint an extremely disturbing picture of how draconian agricultural and seed laws and policies are undermining smallholder farmers and their seed and food systems.  These laws and policies form part of the architecture that […]

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African Union endorses draconian, undemocratic and corporate captured policy guidelines for seed and biotechnology for the continent

Veuillez cliquer ici pour lire la version française The African Union (AU) has endorsed the continental guidelines for the harmonisation of seed and regulatory frameworks and the continental guidelines for the use of biotechnology in food and agriculture in Africa, despite fierce resistance from African civil society. On 16 February 2022, we found out that […]

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Organisations around the world collectively take a stand against UPOV

On this day in 1961, a Geneva-based intergovernmental organisation with six European member States took the first step to colonise seeds. The UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden founded the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), setting in motion a strategy to strip communities’ rights to seeds in favour […]

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Seed is power – Reclaiming African Seed Sovereignty: Africans speak out against corporate hegemony over seed and food systems

In rejection of the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), which held its pre-summit this week, civil society, farmers groups and social movements came together for a global counter-mobilisation that spanned four days, with 15 online sessions. One of the webinars, titled Seed is power: Reclaiming African Seed Sovereignty, featured a presentation: Africans speak out […]

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Harmonisation of seed laws in Africa

Regional and continental integration under the auspices of the African Continental Seed Harmonisation (ACSH) initiative and the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACfTA) The African Union Commission (AUC)’s African Seed and Biotechnology Programme is undertaking a process developing Continental Guidelines for the Harmonisation of Seed Regulatory Frameworks in Africa. The ACB was able to access […]

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Corporate capture of seed Is jeopardising farmers sovereignty

In a film by Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, ACB research and advocacy officer Sabrina Masinjila talks about the corporate capture of seeds and how laws favour hybrid seeds and not farmers who care for indigenous seeds. Watch here: https://youtu.be/kEqKDLv65dc

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Crunch Time for the Seed Treaty

A review of some outstanding issues in the negotiation Will the effort to fix ITPGRFA’s broken benefit sharing system measure up to expectations? (Veuillez cliquer ici pour le français) (Por favor, haga clic aquí para el español) This paper reviews the key outstanding issues that are expected to be discussed by the ITPGRFA Governing Body, […]

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Production quality controls in farmer seed systems in Africa

This ACB report explores issues relating to farmers’ independent seed development, production and distribution. Drawing from innovative case studies in Brazil, East Africa and elsewhere, suggestions are presented to strengthen farmer quality control practices. In sub-Saharan Africa, more than 65% of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihoods, producing around 80% of food consumed. […]

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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 […]

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