Bulletin boardThe 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.

 


 

The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) is a broad alliance of different civil society actors who are part of the struggle for food sovereignty and agro-ecology in Africa. These include: African farmers' organisations, African NGO networks, specialist African NGOs, consumer movements in Africa, international organisations who support the stance of AFSA, and individuals. Its’ members represent small holder farmers, pastoralists, hunter/gatherers, indigenous peoples; Faith based institutions, and environmentalists from across Africa. AFSA is seeking qualified applicants for the position of West Africa Staff to be based in any of the West African countries. This position will be responsible for developing and implementing a research and advocacy agenda focusing on food sovereignty and agroecology in Africa.

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Domestic milk markets in India are in crisis. A price war is raging between dairy processors, to sell milk at extremely low prices in urban areas. This has been accompanied by a steep reduction in milk procurement prices paid and a reduction in the volume of milk procured by dairy processors from producers. Small farmers, whose livelihoods depend on selling milk and who are the backbone of this market, have been hardest hit. This has also severely affected the people’s milk market, commonly referred to as the “informal” or “unorganised” milk markets. Video produced by Food Sovereignty Alliance India. 

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Previously, the African Centre for Biodiversity shared with you, easy to read seed posters on intellectual property rights, UPOV 1991, the Arusha Plant Variety Protection Protocol etc. and implications for small holder farmers and farmers’ rights. Now, we are happy to announce the release of a second set of easy to read seed posters, dealing with seed laws that regulate the release, certification and marketing of seed nationally and regionally. These posters represent our continuing efforts to share knowledge and information about the threats these laws pose to the protection of farmers’ rights, farmer managed seed systems and food sovereignty.

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Since August 1st, the news is spreading that Monsanto had to abandon the construction of one of the biggest factories in the world for producing transgenic seed that was to be installed in Córdoba, Argentina, in the municipality of Malvinas Argentinas. From there they had planned to distribute seeds to Latin America and beyond. This is an occurrence of enormous importance, that the company has not wanted to admit publicly, because the reason for their exit is the persistent popular resistance from neighbourhoods, youths and mothers, who have blocked the factory since 2013.

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A new documentary film, "Uhuru wa Mbegu za Wakulima", captures the testimonies of farmers whose customary rights to save, share and exchange seed are threatened by seed laws designed to replace traditional varieties with commercial hybrids and handover control to the global seed companies. The 28-minute film follows a local seed producer, Mathias Mtwale, as he meets with farmers, researchers, seed suppliers, regulators, and legislators to understand the issues, and to make the case for a fair deal for the farmers.

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Despite claims that a massive agricultural development deal in Mozambique will benefit the country’s citizens, there are indications that the project is designed to benefit a select few and could leave 100,000 Mozambicans displaced, write Khadija Sharife and Luis Nhachote.

More than 95% of Mozambique’s cultivated land is worked by millions of families that farm for food and income. But the land and its people may be at risk if one of the largest agricultural development deals in Africa is realised. Details leaked from the Panama Papers database show that the Lurio River Valley Development Project, which is valued at $4.2 billion, is being orchestrated behind a web of opaque offshore companies with little in the way of credible track records, financing information, ownership information or even brick-and-mortar offices.

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Asia-Pacific peoples movements come together to challenge RCEP

APRN, APWLD, AFTINET, Focus on the Global South, Forum against FTAs-India, GRAIN, PSI, TWN and TNI | 01 August 2016 | laws & policies | Malaysia

More than 80 participants representing trade unions, farming communities, indigenous peoples, health networks, women’s organisations, academia and civil society organizations met on 27-28 July in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to take stock of the new generation of mega regional free trade agreements (FTAs) emerging in the region. The group shared concerns on the threats to people’s lives and livelihoods posed by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The RCEP is a mega FTA that 16 countries from the Asia-Pacific region are aiming to finalise by 2017.

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Why is the EU funding Ethiopia's repression of land rights defenders?

Nyikaw Ochalla, Anywaa Survival Organisation | 21 July 2016 | land grabbing | Ethiopia, EU

On Friday, the EU and German government announced the agreement of providing the Government of Ethiopia with 3.8 million euro for a project to facilitate large-scale commercial land deals amid wide spread human rights abuses and brutal repression of its opponents.

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The global food system—the processes and infrastructure to feed populations—is one of the main drivers of climate change. Yet the issue is hardly talked about at the climate summits that governments hold every year. Why? Article written by GRAIN for Alliance Magazine.  

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Early this July, a spate of news from pro-GMO camps (which includes IRRI and Mark Lynas) struck the headlines wherein they praised the report made by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine regarding safety of GM crops. According to the news, the elite panel concluded that no ‘substantiated’ evidence exists that genetically engineered crops have caused health problems in humans or damaged the environment. Alongside this is the letter by more than 100 Nobel laureates urging environmental group Greenpeace to cease and desist from its campaign against Golden Rice specifically, and crops and food improved through biotechnology in general.

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