We call upon the governments of Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Tanzania and Mozambique to make the following information available

  1. Since the WEMA project consists of ‘elite maize germplasm lines’ contributed by its partners (Monsanto, CIMMYT and the NARs in each of the WEMA countries), we would like to know what inbred lines were developed from the germplasm into which Monsanto’s drought tolerant transgene MON 87460 was introgressed. Please describe the drought tolerant and other agronomic characteristics of such inbred lines.
  2. Specify the WEMA conventional seed registered in the five WEMA countries, and particularly in relation to these, outline which ones are currently in production.
  3. State whether farm input subsidy programmes will be directed towards WEMA maize (both GM and non GM varieties).
  4. Explain the relationships between the varieties on the Variety Release Catalogues in the five countries and the plans for certification and roll out of these varieties.
  5. Explain the status of plant variety protection of the WEMA seeds in the five countries, for both GM and non-GM. In this regard, provide full details of the persons (natural or juristic) who have been awarded plant breeders’ rights over such varieties.
  6. Explain the licensing arrangements in place with regard to producing certified conventional and GM WEMA seeds in the five countries (specify the role of all institutions involved).
  7. Which private seed companies are involved in both conventional and GM hybrid seed production? In this regard, please provide:
    • Name of the seed companies;
    • Nature of the licensing agreement (exclusive or non-exclusive and for which duration – only  distribution, or bulking + distribution);
    • Details of which varieties they are tasked with, for both conventional and GM;
    • Sufficient detail about the exact agroecological zones where the conventional hybrids have been   trialled in the five countries (names of research stations and type of agroecological zones)
    • Evidence of the yield (tonnage of maize per kilo of seed) obtained for the conventional and GM  hybrids. (We are interested not only in yields obtained in the research stations but also in fields  managed by farmers.)

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Open Letter to African Governments

Petition dates 2017-09-04 to 2017-09-15

We thank the 713 people who signed.

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