At the National Seed Dialogue and Celebration, hosted by the African Centre for Biodiversity at Constitution Hill in December 2017, participants shared their experiences and discussed options and priorities.

Smallholder Farmer Autonomy Over Seed Production is the final video in a series of six from the ACB hosted event.

Smallholder farmers feed the world, providing up to 70% of food consumed globally. The seed is the first link in the food chain. If farmers do not have their own seeds or access to open pollinated varieties that they can save, improve and exchange, they have no seed sovereignty – and consequently no food sovereignty.

In South Africa, there is almost no smallholder farmer involvement in formal sector seed production, and small seed enterprises are few and far between. Farmers do reproduce their own seed for use on a smaller scale. One obstacle to farmer involvement in commercial seed production is the rigid and standardised quality control system which is designed for large companies. Commercial laws restrict farmers’ production of their own seed for exchange on the basis of the same quality control system. More flexibility is required to create space for smallholder farmers to produce seed for distribution in their localities and beyond.

For the full report on the National Seed Dialogue and Celebration, click here.

For the first video in the series, click here.

Read about Art, Seed Sovereignty and Activism here.

You can also read a blog from the event giving insights into our food system here.

For all six of the videos from the National Seed Dialogue and Celebration, please visit the ACB’s YouTube channel for the playlist.