In this vlog, African Centre for Biodiversity’s (ACB’s) Sabrina Masinjila, based in Tanzania, speaks about the East African Community Seed and Plant Varieties Bill, 2018 and some of the concerns related to the Bill, as more fully set out in a detailed report and summary.
As described in the vlog and our detailed report, Concerns with the draft EAC Seed and Plant Varieties Bill, September 2018 version, and summary, Undermining farmers’ rights and seed systems: Why the EAC Seed and Plant Varieties Bill must be disbanded, the East African Community (EAC), a regional intergovernmental organisation consisting of six Partner States: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, has developed a seed legislative framework, the EAC Seed and Plant Varieties Bill 2018. The EAC Bill is part of ongoing efforts to bring about regional harmonisation of seed and plant variety protection laws in the East African region.
Regulations have also been developed together with the Bill, signifying an urgent and hasty process for its adoption. The Bill has been formulated for the benefit of corporate seed producers and breeders, paving the way for the private sector’s domination of seed production and the free trade in corporate so-called “improved seed” across borders in the EAC, by doing away with the need to comply with national seed regulatory and PVP systems. It utterly undermines farmers’ rights and criminalises age-old practises of seed exchange and sale on the part of smallholder farmers in the region.