The effort by the World Trade Organization to reshape Indian agricultural policies comes at a time when Indian agriculture is faced with a terrible agrarian crisis. The environmental impacts of the intensively-farmed Green Revolution have become a full-blown crisis of sustainability. With soil fertility devastated, water tables plummeting as a result of relentless water mining, environmental contamination from excessive use and abuse of chemical pesticides, the entire farming equation has gone wrong.
The bulletin board is a place where GRAIN staff and others post their comments, suggestions, hints and assessments of documents, places or events. Or just share information that we think is interesting.
This month, rural women, indigenous communities, and farmers in Chile found themselves on the winning end of a long-fought battle against a bill that had come to be known by many in this country as simply, the “Monsanto Law.”
De-bunking the myth that the European seed market is diversified: the event will highlight the dominance of a small group of multinational companies, exposing false assumptions underlying proposed regulation of the seeds in the European Community.
A group of farmers gather at the Department of Agriculture (DOA) in Bang Khen district yesterday to voice their opposition to the planned ratification of the 1991 International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). The farmers submitted a protest letter to Martin Ekvad, the UPOV executive who briefed DOA officials about the convention.
Industrialised nations spend billions to subsidise their high-tech farming industries. Surplus crops often end up being sold at rock-bottom prices in the markets of developing countries, making it impossible for local farmers to sell their products. Even the American food aid being sent to famine-plagued regions creates more suffering than it alleviates, because many governments prefer to wait for handouts than buy up their farmers' harvests. The lack of options is forcing thousands of Africans to risk the life-threatening journey to Europe.
The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa 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’.
ARIPO is in the process of seeking the approval of its Member States to adopt the legal framework, possibly at the next ARIPO Administrative Council and Council of Ministers meeting due to take place 25–29 November 2013 in Kampala, Uganda.
The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa strongly condemns the approval of draft Seed Trade Harmonization Regulations by COMESA's Council of Ministers in September which will only facilitate agricultural transformation in member states towards industrialization of farming systems based on the logic of the controversial, failed and hopelessly doomed Green Revolution model of agriculture.
The National Congress of Brazil will soon be deciding on a proposed constitutional amendment that would give the Congress exclusive authority to decide where the boundaries of all indigenous lands lie, including any lands previously demarcated and ratified by the Executive Branch of the government. Worried about the future of his people, a Guarani man called Pedro Vicente Karai Miri recorded this message to the congressmen.
Seed and the control of seed lies at the heart of agriculture. In Africa around 80% of seed comes from local and community saved seed resources. This seed is adapted to local conditions. It forms an integral part of community food security and agricultural integrity. This entire traditional system is now under threat.