African Centre for Biosafety
Laws regulating seeds in South Africa to entrench hunger and inequality PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 15:36

Press Release from the Food Sovereignty Campaign

On 15 May South Africa’s Portfolio Committee on Agriculture held public hearings on two Bills that protect and regulate the commercial seed industry; the Plant Breeders Rights (PBR) Bill and the Plant Improvement Bill. The PBR Bill aims to stimulate innovation in plant breeding by awarding extremely strong intellectual property rights to breeders and the Plant Improvement Bill allows only certified seed to be sold on the commercial market. Several NGOs and smallholder farmers made submissions to the committee, saying that the laws will entrench inequality and deepen the hunger crisis in the country because the Bills are oblivious to seed systems that support smallholder farmers and ecological forms of farming. These laws do not recognise or protect farmer-managed seed systems or agricultural biodiversity but undermine the rights of farmers, including their right to re-use, exchange and sell farm-saved seeds.

 

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Gates and Monsanto’s Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) Project PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Monday, 04 May 2015 08:02
WEMA reportIn this report, the ACB interrogates the Gates Foundation and Monsanto’s Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project and exposes it to be nothing more than corporate “green washing,” designed to ensnare small holder farmers into adopting hybrid and GM maize in order to benefit seed and agro-chemical companies.

 

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Nuanced rhetoric and the path to poverty: AGRA, small-scale farmers, and seed and soil fertility in Tanzania PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 07:46

Tanzania-reportThe report indicates a well-coordinated effort by selected states especially the US and in the EU, philanthropic institutions like AGRA, multilateral institutions like the World Bank, donors and multinational corporations (MNCs) including Yara, Monsanto and Pioneer to construct a Green Revolution that aims to produce a layer of commercial surplus producers. This is an explicit goal and they are not shy of saying it. However, the long-term social and ecological impacts of this agenda are questionable, with concerns about loss of land, biodiversity, and sovereignty.

 

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Agroecology in South Africa: policy and practice PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Friday, 13 March 2015 16:07

Agroecology-SA-reportThe African Centre for Biosafety has prepared a discussion document on agroecology-related policy in South Africa, and included a few examples of agroecology practices in South Africa. We trust that this document will contribute to the recently launched Food Sovereignty Campaign and the progress of agroecology practice being made on the ground in South Africa.

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White men meet in London to plot ways of profiting off Africa’s seed systems PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Monday, 09 March 2015 19:19
A meeting is to be held in London on 23 March by predominantly white men with a sprinkling of Africans, some of whom represent private seed companies, to discuss how to make a killing off Africa’s seed systems.

Farmers and civil society organisations have not been invited to the meeting, which will be attended only by private seed companies, donors, representatives from Africa’s regional economic communities, research centres and multinational development organisations.

The meeting will discuss a study produced by Monitor-Deloitte, commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and USAID. BMGF is a big sponsor of the commercialisation of agriculture in Africa, including through the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Working with USAID, this commercial agenda extends US foreign policy into Africa and threatens the livelihoods of millions of small-scale farmers who rely on recycling seed for their livelihoods.
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