Blog

The blog 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 seed bank preserves biodiversity by opening its doors to farmers

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."

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."

Declaration: No to abuse against women in industrial oil palm plantations

We said it in Mundemba, Cameroon, we reiterated it in Port Loko, Sierra Leone, we re-affirm this in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire: the abuse against women in and around industrial oil palm plantations must STOP!

We said it in Mundemba, Cameroon, we reiterated it in Port Loko, Sierra Leone, we re-affirm this in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire: the abuse against women in and around industrial oil palm plantations must STOP!

Toxic philanthropy: Wealthy US donors are influencing policy to serve their own interests.

Americans gave away almost $400 billion in 2016. Billionaires like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberg are applauded for their generosity. But who actually benefits from their donations? For every dollar of charitable giving, the U.S. taxpayer has to fork out 50 cents in lost tax revenue. An interesting podcast by Tara Cleary, including an interview with GRAIN about our 2014 report about the role of the Gates Foundation in Africa.  

Americans gave away almost $400 billion in 2016. Billionaires like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Mark Zuckerberg are applauded for their generosity. But who actually benefits from their donations? For every dollar of charitable giving, the U.S. taxpayer has to fork out 50 cents in lost tax revenue. An interesting podcast by Tara Cleary, including an interview with GRAIN about our 2014 report about the role of the Gates Foundation in Africa.  

Trade agreements privatising biodiversity outside the WTO: 2018 update

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". 

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". 

Brazil court bans commercialisation and release of new pesticides based on glyphosate, abamectin and tiram in the whole country

On 3 August, a Federal judge in Brasilia, ruled the immediate prohibition of new licenses for products based on three chemicals: Abamectin, Glyphosate and Tiram. The judge also gave a period of up to 30 days for the withdrawal of those already released in the market. The decision still gave another term to the Agência Nacional de vigilância sanitaria (the national sanitary surveillance agency – ANVISA, by its acronym in Portuguese) who has until the end of 2018 to complete the toxicological reassessment of the three chemicals. The decision is valid for the whole country.  

On 3 August, a Federal judge in Brasilia, ruled the immediate prohibition of new licenses for products based on three chemicals: Abamectin, Glyphosate and Tiram. The judge also gave a period of up to 30 days for the withdrawal of those already released in the market. The decision still gave another term to the Agência Nacional de vigilância sanitaria (the national sanitary surveillance agency – ANVISA, by its acronym in Portuguese) who has until the end of 2018 to complete the toxicological reassessment of the three chemicals. The decision is valid for the whole country.  

New study raises red flags on tax haven role in environmental destruction

Tax havens – and the financial secrecy they provide – may bolster industries tied to Amazon deforestation and the unsustainable management of natural resources, a new study has found.  

Tax havens – and the financial secrecy they provide – may bolster industries tied to Amazon deforestation and the unsustainable management of natural resources, a new study has found.  

Paraguay: Ceferina Guerrero, guardian of native and indigenous seeds

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.  

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.  

Traders, farmers, workers and citizens groups decry green-light to Walmart-Flipkart deal – Call on Quit India day for joint struggle against foreign e-commerce

The Joint Action Committee Against Foreign Retail and E-commerce greatly condemns the go-head to Walmart’s takeover of Flipkart by the Competition Commission of India. Flipkart indulges in gross and widely-reported violations of current FDI norms for e-commerce as expressed in the Press Note 3. These violations are all market distorting. The government has sat over scores of complaints given to it for such violations, and a case is also currently in the Supreme Court. Before investigating and deciding on these existing ongoing by Flipkart, billions of dollars of new FDI cannot be allowed to come in and compound these ongoing violations against India’s markets, economy and citizens.  

The Joint Action Committee Against Foreign Retail and E-commerce greatly condemns the go-head to Walmart’s takeover of Flipkart by the Competition Commission of India. Flipkart indulges in gross and widely-reported violations of current FDI norms for e-commerce as expressed in the Press Note 3. These violations are all market distorting. The government has sat over scores of complaints given to it for such violations, and a case is also currently in the Supreme Court. Before investigating and deciding on these existing ongoing by Flipkart, billions of dollars of new FDI cannot be allowed to come in and compound these ongoing violations against India’s markets, economy and citizens.  

Web documentary | Land of plenty, land of but a few

With the arrival of big agricultural investment to the Nacala Corridor, one of the most fertile and populated areas of Mozambique, thousands of people were dispossessed of their land and are still waiting for the promise of a better life to come true.

With the arrival of big agricultural investment to the Nacala Corridor, one of the most fertile and populated areas of Mozambique, thousands of people were dispossessed of their land and are still waiting for the promise of a better life to come true.

Farmers and consumers commemorate Golden Rice uprooting victory amid renewed push for field trials

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.

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.

Peoples movements reject RCEP

More than 80 participants representing trade union, farmers, indigenous peoples, and other civil society organitations gathered in Thailand on the sidelines of the latest  negotiations RCEP mega trade agreement in Asia. Here is their statement.  

More than 80 participants representing trade union, farmers, indigenous peoples, and other civil society organitations gathered in Thailand on the sidelines of the latest  negotiations RCEP mega trade agreement in Asia. Here is their statement.  

Farmer seeds, plants of the future for healthy and sustainable nutrition

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.

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.

Land speculation is leading to human rights violations and eco-destruction in Brazil

A new report uncovers how international pension funds, foreign investments and institutions are tearing down any future for rural communities in Northeastern Brazil.  

A new report uncovers how international pension funds, foreign investments and institutions are tearing down any future for rural communities in Northeastern Brazil.  

Our land is worth more than carbon

While farming is one of humanity’s activities that generates most greenhouse gas, carbon sequestration in farmland is increasingly put forward as a means of limiting climate change. Internationally, initiatives of this type are mushrooming. Is this a miracle solution or just an excuse for not reducing food-related emissions? CCFD-Terre Solidaire’s new report – "Our land is worth more than carbon", analyses in detail carbon sequestration in soil and the complicated linkage between agriculture and climate change. It examines our agri-food systems both upstream and downstream from production and looks at the challenges in the light of environmental, economic, social and cultural criteria.

While farming is one of humanity’s activities that generates most greenhouse gas, carbon sequestration in farmland is increasingly put forward as a means of limiting climate change. Internationally, initiatives of this type are mushrooming. Is this a miracle solution or just an excuse for not reducing food-related emissions? CCFD-Terre Solidaire’s new report – "Our land is worth more than carbon", analyses in detail carbon sequestration in soil and the complicated linkage between agriculture and climate change. It examines our agri-food systems both upstream and downstream from production and looks at the challenges in the light of environmental, economic, social and cultural criteria.

Bringing farming back to nature

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.

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.