Seed/Food Sovereignty
AFSA’S COMMENTS ON ARIPO’s RESPONSES TO CIVIL SOCIETY: DRAFT LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR PLANT VARIETY PROTECTION PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Thursday, 20 March 2014 12:18

At the 2013 November meeting of the Administrative Council and Council of Ministers of ARIPO countries held in Kampala, Uganda, several documents on the proposed legal framework for Plant Variety Protection were distributed. Also circulated was a Matrix1 containing ARIPO’s responses to a detailed submission by civil society organizations (CSO) dated 6th November 20122. In this AFSA Comments, we respond to this Matrix, which is evasive, baseless and shows that ARIPO’s assertions that the views and comments of civil society have been taken into account is simply false.

 

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Giving With One Hand and Taking With Two: A Critique of Agra's African Agriculture Status Report 2013 PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Monday, 18 November 2013 18:56
AGRA-report-cover

The African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) has released a comprehensive critique of a report published by the African Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). The analysis of AGRA's African Agriculture Status Report 2013 reveals that AGRA’s vision is premised on Public Private Partnerships in which African governments will shoulder the cost and burden of developing regulatory procedures and infrastructure to enable private agribusiness to profit from new African markets.

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ARIPO’S PLANT VARIETY PROTECTION LAW BASED ON UPOV 1991 CRIMINALISES FARMERS’ RIGHTS AND UNDERMINES SEED SYSTEMS IN AFRICA PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Monday, 21 October 2013 11:59

The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa[1] is gravely concerned about a draft law developed under the auspices of the Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO), dealing with a harmonised regional legal framework for the protection of plant breeders’ rights, titled ‘Draft Regional Policy and Legal Framework for Plant Variety Protection’. The ARIPO legal framework, if approved, will make it illegal for farmers to engage in their age-old practice of freely using, sharing and selling seeds/propagating material; a practice that underpins 90% of the smallholder agriculture systems in sub-Saharan Africa.

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AFSA Statement Condemning COMESA Approval of Seed Regulations PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Tuesday, 01 October 2013 15:38

The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa[1] strongly condemns the approval during September 2013, by the Council of Ministers of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) of the draft COMESA Seed Trade Harmonization Regulations, 2013 (hereinafter referred to as the “Seed Regulations”).

The COMESA Seed Regulations will greatly facilitate agricultural transformation in the COMESA member states towards industrialization of farming systems based on the logic of the highly controversial, failed and hopelessly doomed Green Revolution model of agriculture. The COMESA Regulations are geared towards creating an enabling environment for massively increased private sector participation in seed trade in the COMESA region as it promotes only one type of seed breeding, namely industrial seed breeding involving the use of advanced breeding technologies.

We demand that the COMESA Seed regulations be scrapped in their entirety. We call upon donors to desist from supporting the implementation of these regulations, which undermine our national sovereignty and policy space. We call for an open, transparent process, involving small farmers especially, to discuss appropriate seed laws for Africa, where the obligation of protecting biodiversity, farmers’ rights and overall ecological productivity is entrenched as a primary objective.

 

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[1] The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) represents as a continental voice against the ongoing imposition of industrial agriculture in Africa and for food sovereignty through ecological agriculture. AFSA is a broad based alliance of African regional farmers' networks and African NGO networks along with various other allies. The aim is to bring greater continental cohesion to an already developing food sovereignty movement in Africa.

 
Comments by the African Centre for Biosafety on SA’s Plant Improvement Bill PDF Print option in slimbox / lytebox? (info) E-mail
Saturday, 08 June 2013 08:43

According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (UNFAO), over the course of the 20th century, 75% of the world’s plant genetic diversity was lost, as local varieties and land races have been replaced with genetically uniform seed. A similar process in animal husbandry has put 53% of all livestock breeds at risk of extinction. At the turn of the 21st century, 12 plant and five animal species generated three quarters of the world’s food. This is no accident, but the result of a very particular system of food production that demands uniformity and yield, over diversity and nutrition and where vast monocultures can be grown, harvested, processed and then ‘freely’ traded over thousands of miles. It is a system that, by some estimates, contributes up to 57% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It is also a system that, particularly in the USA and European Union, is propped up by a vast subsidy system.

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