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 local seed custodians in the Eastern Cape.

This event forms part of the National No-GM Maize Campaign – Phansi GMO Maize Phambili Agroecology! creating awareness on the extensive use and consumption of GM Maize, whereby around 90% of all maize in the country is genetically modified, and stimulating discussions to transition out of GM maize in the country.

The event will bring together local government, farmer organisations, civil society groups, and communities, to discuss, share information, and celebrate agrobiodiversity and agroecology. We will be celebrating a traditional practice to bring community together for common goals – ILIMA – at the Mxumbu Youth Cooperative in Middledrift.

This collective action will plant seeds to transform this inequitable and unsustainable agricultural system, whereby governments are providing GM Maize seed to some of the poorest in our country, yet hunger and malnutrition remain rife. We will also share seeds, learn about seed saving, seed production of local varieties and agroecological practices, as well as celebrate the traditional varieties, practices and knowledge in the area.

There will be local musician Luyolo Lenga playing the traditional bow, and local artist painting a mural at Mxumbu, engaging and helping to promote the ceremonial aspects of this work, and the integral connection between seed, ritual, music, and community. There will also be a screening of 3 short animations on GM maize in South Africa.

We hope this discussion will stimulate a path towards seed and farmer support policies that recognise, support and strengthen smallholder farmers, seed diversity, and seed sovereignty!

Phansi GMO Maize Phambili Agrocology!

For more information contact: Xolisa: 072-064-5848; Busi: 072-359-8935; Linzi: 071-206-6477 email: