Tag Archive: Seed Law

Towards socially just and ecologically sustainable seed policies for Africa: Farmers, CSOs meet in Harare

Towards socially just and ecologically sustainable seed policies for Africa: Farmers, CSOs meet in Harare
By Sabrina Masinjila, researcher and advocacy officer with the African Centre for Biodiversity
July 2017

Seed policy in sub-Saharan Africa is developing and changing fast, as the seed industry continues to expand its reach. A huge amount of energy and resources are being directed at harmonising seed and intellectual property legislation at the regional level through regional economic communities. Harmonised regional seed laws influence the shaping of national seed legislation, including plant variety protection laws. These are primarily determined by political and economic interests, as private seed companies seek to expand their business ventures into wider markets in Africa.
On the other hand, farmer managed seed systems (FMSS), which are the basis of agricultural systems on the continent, are pointedly ignored, undermined and criminalised. This has huge implications for smallholder farms, where 80% of the seed used is from FMSS. These systems feed the continent, ensuring nutrition and supporting livelihoods, and are central to agroecological systems, cultural practices and biodiversity conservation.

In a quest to deepen seed policy narratives that support FMSS, the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), in partnership with the Zimbabwe Seed Sovereignty

Integration of small-scale farmers into formal seed production in South Africa

The scoping report looks at key policies, legislation and programmes in SA with an emphasis on seed laws and considers the implications for small- scale farmer involvement in this sector and outlines a few projects on community seed production, indigenous crops and black- owned private sector seed production efforts.

Download the Scoping Report

African civil society slams Monsanto junk GM maize deal

African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), Tanzania Alliance for Biodiversity (TABIO), União Nacional de Camponeses (UNAC), Kenya Biodiversity Coalition (KBioC), Kenya Food Rights Alliance (KeFRA), Eastern and Southern African Small-Scale Farmers Forum Uganda (ESAFF, Uganda)

Non-governmental and farmer organisations from South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya and Uganda strongly condemn the go-ahead given by the South African GMO authorities for Monsanto to commercially sell its genetically modified (GM) “drought tolerant” maize seed for cultivation in South Africa. According to the groups, there is no evidence showing that the drought tolerant trait even works. According to Mariam Mayet of the ACB, “the GM maize (MON87460) has not undergone proper risk assessment anywhere in the world and has no history of safe use. South Africans who are already being force-fed with old risky GM traits will now be subject to an utterly new foreign, untested and risky transgene in their daily food.”

MON 87460 stems from of a Monsanto/Gates Foundation project, Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA). Other key project partners include the Howard Buffet Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT). The project is being implemented in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda,