Latest Farmer Seed Systems Resources

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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Input Subsidies in Mozambique: the future of peasant farmers and their seed systems

In this report, the African Centre for Biodiversity outlines and assesses input subsidy programmes in Mozambique, as part of the larger agriculture policy landscape, and the impact this has had on the agricultural sector, particularly on smallholder farmers. In Mozambique, peasant farmers feed the country mostly using their own seed. Yet the majority of (donor-funded) […]

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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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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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Good Food and Seed Festival, Harare, Zimbabwe

By Edmore Parichi and Busi Mgangxela From the 18-20 October 2018, the Good Food and Seed Festival was held at the Harare Botanical Gardens in Zimbabwe. Edmore Parichi, Busi Mgangxela and Aviwe Biko are small-scale farmers from Eastern Cape in South Africa who took part in this very important event with support from African Centre […]

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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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WFD Celebrations honouring Seed Diversity and Custodians in the Eastern Cape

Press Release: World Food Day Celebration in the Eastern cape: Phansi GMO Maize Phambili Agrocology! 15th October 2018 On World Food Day, 16th October 2018, the African Centre for Biodiversity is partnering with Zingisa, Ntinga Ntaba ka Ndoda, Ilizwi Lamafama, Mxumbu Youth Cooperative, Calabash Trust and Khanyisa to celebrate and honour local seed diversity, and […]

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Video: Smallholder Farmer Autonomy Over Seed Production

Video: Smallholder Farmer Autonomy Over Seed Production – the final release in a series of six videos from the ACB hosted event, National Seed Dialogue and Celebration, held in December 2017 at Constitution Hill. Smallholder farmers feed the world, providing up to 70% of food consumed globally. The seed is the first link in the […]

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Video: Value of Household and Community Seed Banks – the fifth video release in a series of six videos from the ACB

Availability of and access to diverse, quality seed is a key element in successful crop production. Commercial seed systems focus only on seeds where profits can be made. Over time this has resulted in neglect and disappearance of diverse indigenous and farmer varieties, and a shrinking of agricultural biodiversity. Local seed banks owned and run […]

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