We, Brazilian peasants, family farmers, indigenous peoples, traditional peoples and communities, community scientists, social and trade union movements and urban groups, aware of the themes to be discussed at COP14, hereby manifest our position.
On July 26, 2018, farmers in Xai-Xai, Mozambique, achieved a milestone. They met to formalize their new farmers’ association, elect leaders, and prepare a petition to the local government for land. The association, christened Tsakane, which means “happy” in the local Changana language, was the culmination of six years of resistance to a Chinese land grab that had sparked protest and outrage. The association now has a request pending for its own land. An encouraging story by Timothy A. Wise
The story of Melaku Worede former director of the Ethiopian Biodiversity Insitute, who pioneered a genebank working with farmers: “We believe in conservation through use, in keeping diversity alive as farmers use it."
GRAIN | 27 August 2018 | seeds & biodiversity
GRAIN has just updated its dataset showing how so-called free trade agreements (FTAs) push for the privatisation of seeds and livestock beyond the rules agreed to at the World Trade Organisation. FTAs often do this by obliging countries to adopt or implement the UPOV convention, what some call "Monsanto laws".
Words of Ceferina Guerrero, one of the founders of Conamuri, a native of Repatriación in the department of Coaguazú, Paraguay, speaking on a panel called "Our Seeds Make Us Free" during the “Heñói Jey Paraguay” fair, 3 and 4 August 2018 in Asunción, Paraguay.
Five years ago today, more than 400 farmers, women, youth and consumers uprooted the secret Golden Rice field trials in Pili, Camarines Sur, decisively showing the rejection of the people against the genetically modified rice. The historic action has resulted to increased awareness and renewed debate globally and has driven the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to postpone the commercialization slated in 2016 supposedly due to the lower yields of the Golden Rice.
COASP, COPAGEN | 20 July 2018 | seeds & biodiversity
The COASP and COPAGEN, their members and allies are outraged by the drive of our regional institutions to harmonize the regional seed legislation for the benefit of the seed industry in particular and the agrochemical sector in general.
Farming the land as if nature doesn’t matter has been the model for much of the Western world’s food production system for at least the past 75 years. The results haven’t been pretty: depleted soil, chemically fouled waters, true family farms all but eliminated, a worsening of public health and more. But an approach that combines innovation and tradition has emerged, one that could transform the way we grow food. It’s called agroecology, and it places ecological science at the center of agriculture. It’s a scrappy movement that’s taking off globally.
Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) | 07 May 2018 | seeds & biodiversity
The GMO lobby is showing signs of desperation. Once again they are on the offensive with a major public relations push targeting East Africa, particularly Uganda, in an attempt to subvert African policy development towards their own narrow ends. Their immediate goal is to weaken national biosafety laws, thereby removing any barriers to their access to African markets for their contentious high-risk products. Specifically, they want to remove the ‘strict liability’ clauses and thereby avoid any responsibility; avoid having to pay compensation for any damage that they do; avoid labelling so that African people are prohibited from knowing if their food is genetically modified; and avoid any punishment that African laws can impose.
In March 2018, the Canadian Ministry of Health authorized the marketing of the controversial Golden Rice, which is genetically modified to produce beta-carotene that the human body will transform into vitamin A. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the source of this application, declared that this Golden Rice was not meant for sale in Canada as of now. Is this a way of encouraging Asian countries to authorize it as well?