Latest Farmer Seed Systems Resources

Breaking from the rest of the continent

South Africa moves towards recognising smallholder farmers’ Right to Seed and farmer seed systems – but the road ahead is still long By Linzi Lewis, ACB Research and Advocacy Officer & Mariam Mayet, ACB Executive Director After much anticipation, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) published draft Regulations to implement the Plant […]

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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 […]

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Small scale farming organic African herbs and crops

Uncle Wiz is a shining example of a thriving small scale farming and food distribution business that not only farms without chemicals but also focuses on and promotes indigenous food crops. Owners Wisdom and Mpumi Edward live in south Johannesburg and farm on land in Vanderbijlpark. Not only do they grow many indigenous African crops […]

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Advancing agroecology and farmer managed seed systems in Limpopo

At a dialogue on farmer managed seed systems and agroecology, held in Acornhoek, Limpopo on 20-22 January 2020, farmers and support organisations made clear that they want to see more government and policy support for agroecology and farmer managed seed systems, that they will work together to engage government in this direction, and that they […]

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Farmer-Managed Seed Systems in Limpopo Province, South Africa – October 2019

The African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) co-hosted two farmer exchanges in South Africa in 2019 – in Limpopo and Eastern Cape. The Limpopo meeting and field visit brought together smallholder farmers from Dzomo La Mupo and Mopani Farmers Association (MFA), and officials form Limpopo Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (LDARD). Recognising that industrial agriculture […]

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The time is now! Recognise, affirm, and support farmer seed systems and agroecology in South Africa!

The deepening social, ecological and climate crises require urgent systematic restructuring of our food systems towards biodiverse, agroecological systems, which begins with seed. The African Centre for Biodiversity is excited to share with you groundwork to revive discussions on farmer seed systems in South Africa, in partnership with farmers and civil society. You can read […]

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Neoliberals capture South African smallholder farmer support policy

Ideological and factional divisions and contradictions between neoliberals, ‘patrons’ and progressives have manifested in South Africa’s smallholder farmer support policy. This was evident at a national stakeholder consultation held by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) in April 2019. The policy is meant to support marginalised producers. But it has been thoroughly captured […]

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South Africa’s new Plant Breeders’ Rights Act and its effect on farmers’ rights and farmer managed seed systems

In this updated briefing, the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) warns that the Plant Breeder’s Rights Act (PBR) 2018 will impact negatively on small-scale farmers and calls for exemptions in the Regulations to protect farmers’ rights. The PBR, together with the new Plant Improvement Act (PIA) 2018, was approved by Parliament last October and has […]

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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 […]

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South Africa’s new seed and PVP Acts undermine farmers’ rights and entrench corporate capture, control and domination

Press Release from the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) 23 April 2019, Johannesburg, South Africa The highly problematic new Plant Improvement Act 2018 (PIA) and Plant Breeder’s Rights Act 2018 (PBR), approved by Parliament last year, have been signed into law this March by the President, replacing the 1976 versions. Regulations are currently being drafted […]

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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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UPOV 1991 and the ITPGRFA: Key issues for farmer managed seed systems in South Africa

The South African government has called upon stakeholders to submit comments and attend stakeholder meetings on the 23rd and 24th October 2018, on the implications of South Africa acceding to the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 1991) and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture […]

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