Seedling - July 2010

GRAIN has been around since 1990, and to celebrate this we have devoted most of this issue of Seedling to looking at how we – and the issues that we deal with – have changed over this period. To mark the occasion, we have also altered our design into one that we feel is modern, practical and pleasing to the eye.

GRAIN has been around since 1990, and to celebrate this we have devoted most of this issue of Seedling to looking at how we – and the issues that we deal with – have changed over this period. To mark the occasion, we have also altered our design into one that we feel is modern, practical and pleasing to the eye.

Seedling July 2010 (special 20th anniversary issue)

In  this GRAIN 20th anniversary issue: Editorial Twenty years of fighting for seeds and food sovereignty  Global agribusiness: two decades of plunder Haiti’s farmers call for a break with neoliberalism and Seeds

In  this GRAIN 20th anniversary issue: Editorial Twenty years of fighting for seeds and food sovereignty  Global agribusiness: two decades of plunder Haiti’s farmers call for a break with neoliberalism and Seeds

Asia’s seed laws – Control over farmers' seeds

A new collaborative briefing, written by GRAIN and published by PANAP (Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific), takes a close look at seed laws in the Asia region.

A new collaborative briefing, written by GRAIN and published by PANAP (Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific), takes a close look at seed laws in the Asia region.

The World Bank in the hot seat

A curious thing happened last week. A lot of people were under the impression that the World Bank was going to release its long-awaited study on global land grabs at its annual land conference in Washington DC on 26 April 2010. This is what GRAIN was told. It's what many journalists were told. And it's what those involved in producing the study expected. But it didn't happen. What's holding the bank back?

A curious thing happened last week. A lot of people were under the impression that the World Bank was going to release its long-awaited study on global land grabs at its annual land conference in Washington DC on 26 April 2010. This is what GRAIN was told. It's what many journalists were told. And it's what those involved in producing the study expected. But it didn't happen. What's holding the bank back?

GM in the public eye in Asia

Public is meant to be for people. But, as in evident with Bt crop research in Asia, “public” agricultural research is becoming less about the needs of ordinary people and small farmers and more about scientific control and corporate interests. The recent controversy around Bt brinjal/eggplant in parts of South and South-east Asia, together with the Bt rice research in China's public sector, show that governments and corporations, be they in competition or co-operation, are pushing the same GM crops into Asia's farms and food supply. This is decisively changing the perception of public agricultural research. People are realising that their public agricultural universities and national research institutes may not really be on their side.

Public is meant to be for people. But, as in evident with Bt crop research in Asia, “public” agricultural research is becoming less about the needs of ordinary people and small farmers and more about scientific control and corporate interests. The recent controversy around Bt brinjal/eggplant in parts of South and South-east Asia, together with the Bt rice research in China's public sector, show that governments and corporations, be they in competition or co-operation, are pushing the same GM crops into Asia's farms and food supply. This is decisively changing the perception of public agricultural research. People are realising that their public agricultural universities and national research institutes may not really be on their side.

Feeding the corporate coffers - Why hybrid rice continues to fail Asia's small farmers

For decades now, hybrid rice has been promoted across Asia as a silver bullet for hunger. But a new collaborative briefing published by GRAIN and several other organisations in Asia and the Pacific* examines how hybrid rice has consistently failed Asia’s small farmers over the past decade. From Bangladesh to China, from the Philippines to Indonesia, the promised increased yield has been elusive in farmers’ fields, and the expansion of hybrid rice is now being linked to a recent upsurge of outbreaks of planthoppers across Asia. Hybrid rice is not being promoted for agricultural development but for the control over farming that it offers and the profits that it generates for the seed and agro-chemical companies.

For decades now, hybrid rice has been promoted across Asia as a silver bullet for hunger. But a new collaborative briefing published by GRAIN and several other organisations in Asia and the Pacific* examines how hybrid rice has consistently failed Asia’s small farmers over the past decade. From Bangladesh to China, from the Philippines to Indonesia, the promised increased yield has been elusive in farmers’ fields, and the expansion of hybrid rice is now being linked to a recent upsurge of outbreaks of planthoppers across Asia. Hybrid rice is not being promoted for agricultural development but for the control over farming that it offers and the profits that it generates for the seed and agro-chemical companies.

Seedling April 2010

Turning African farmland over to big business Land grabs threaten Anuak Pastoralism an untold tale of adaptation and survival Watershed cattle Confronting the FAO to stop GMOs .... and more!

Turning African farmland over to big business Land grabs threaten Anuak Pastoralism an untold tale of adaptation and survival Watershed cattle Confronting the FAO to stop GMOs .... and more!

Stop land grabbing now

Say NO to the principles of “responsible” agro-enterprise investment promoted by the World Bank. State and private investors, from Citadel Capital to Goldman Sachs, are leasing or buying up tens of millions of hectares of farmlands in Asia, Africa and Latin America for food and fuel production. This land grabbing is a serious threat for the food sovereignty of our peoples and the right to food of our rural communities. In response to this new wave of land grabbing, the World Bank is promoting a set of seven principles to guide such investments and make them successful.

Say NO to the principles of “responsible” agro-enterprise investment promoted by the World Bank. State and private investors, from Citadel Capital to Goldman Sachs, are leasing or buying up tens of millions of hectares of farmlands in Asia, Africa and Latin America for food and fuel production. This land grabbing is a serious threat for the food sovereignty of our peoples and the right to food of our rural communities. In response to this new wave of land grabbing, the World Bank is promoting a set of seven principles to guide such investments and make them successful.

Land grabbing in Latin America

Right now communities in Latin America, as around the world, are suffering a new kind of invasion of their territories. Millions of hectares of farmland in Latin America have been taken over by these foreign investors over the past few years for the production of food crops and agrofuels for export. Much of the money comes from US and European pension funds, banks, private equity groups, and wealthy individuals, and it is being channelled through special farmland investment vehicles set up by both foreign and local companies.

Right now communities in Latin America, as around the world, are suffering a new kind of invasion of their territories. Millions of hectares of farmland in Latin America have been taken over by these foreign investors over the past few years for the production of food crops and agrofuels for export. Much of the money comes from US and European pension funds, banks, private equity groups, and wealthy individuals, and it is being channelled through special farmland investment vehicles set up by both foreign and local companies.

Seedling - January 2010

Read the editorial or download the full issue in pdf

Read the editorial or download the full issue in pdf

Seedling January 2010

Unravelling the “miracle” of Malawi’s green revolution Africa's land and family farms - up for grabs? Agricultural workers still struggle for their rights What 'financialisation' means for food workers Indian farmers organise to stop Bt brinjal .... and more!

Unravelling the “miracle” of Malawi’s green revolution Africa's land and family farms - up for grabs? Agricultural workers still struggle for their rights What 'financialisation' means for food workers Indian farmers organise to stop Bt brinjal .... and more!

Remembering La Gloria

New television documentary traces origins of the H1N1 pandemic back to pig farms in Mexico Out of the swine flu crisis, the struggle against factory farming has grown stronger, moving from isolated local resistance to a major component of a national movement. A new documentary on the H1N1 pandemic and factory farming, based on the experiences of La Gloria and the neighbouring communities, now brings this struggle to an international audience and puts factory farming back on centre stage in the story of the H1N1 pandemic.

New television documentary traces origins of the H1N1 pandemic back to pig farms in Mexico Out of the swine flu crisis, the struggle against factory farming has grown stronger, moving from isolated local resistance to a major component of a national movement. A new documentary on the H1N1 pandemic and factory farming, based on the experiences of La Gloria and the neighbouring communities, now brings this struggle to an international audience and puts factory farming back on centre stage in the story of the H1N1 pandemic.

Small farmers can cool the planet - presentation

A way out of the mayhem caused by the industrial food system. A presentation with concise data on how industrial agriculture plays a big role in the climate crisis and how diversified, small-scale farming and local markets can solve the problem.

A way out of the mayhem caused by the industrial food system. A presentation with concise data on how industrial agriculture plays a big role in the climate crisis and how diversified, small-scale farming and local markets can solve the problem.