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access to seeds

March 30, 2017Knowledge Portal
Implementing a national community seedbank strategy for South Africa

This factsheet describes two case studies of the community seedbank strategy in South Africa. The aim of this community seedbank strategy was to support smallholder communities to revive and improve their traditional seed-saving practices for the sake of food security and sustainable agriculture and conservation of the county’s agricultural biodiversity. It also emphasizes the importance of women farmers as active custodians of agricultural biodiversity, which can be seen in particular in the Gumbu case study, where women farmers show active interest and participation in the project. »

October 24, 2016Knowledge Portal
Keeping seeds in peoples’ hands

This report by the Global Network For The Right To Food And Nutrition concludes that transnational corporations are monopolizing control over seeds with dire consequences for human rights and biodiversity. Increasingly, seed and agrochemical businesses seek to privatize, monopolize and control seeds by patenting and commodifying this very source of life. Meanwhile, peasant and indigenous communities, who have been the developers and guardians of seeds for millennia, are finding their rights to save, use, exchange and sell seeds overshadowed by a corporate agenda that prioritizes profit over human rights and the sustainable maintenance of nature. »

March 8, 2016Knowledge Portal
Access to Seeds Index Report 2016

The Access to Seeds Index 2016 ranks seed companies by measuring and comparing their efforts to improve access to seeds for smallholder farmers. Access to seeds is of importance for smallholders since better quality seeds have the potential to enhance their production, income and food security. The index consists of three indexes: one for major field crop seed companies, one for vegetable seed companies and one regional index for Eastern Africa. »

February 1, 2016Knowledge Portal
Seed systems smallholder farmers use

This article elaborates on the importance of informal seed markets for African family farmers. Using a comprehensive data set with 9660 observations across six countries and covering 40 crops, the authors show that farmers access 90.2 % of their seed from informal systems with 50.9 % of that deriving from local markets. However, current investments are mostly geared towards formal markets instead of informal ones, while the informal sector remains the core for seed acquisition in Africa. »

December 18, 2015Knowledge Portal
African rural women hold the key to climate change resilience

This report shows the central role of African rural women within agricultural systems and their contribution to diversity, climate change resilience and nutrition. The report focuses on the role of women in knowledge systems of seeds and the challenges they face from agri-business practices and seed monopoly laws. It elaborates on how the complexity of this knowledge has evolved through women’s relationship with land and seed, and their understanding of the nutritional and cultural needs of the family and community. »

October 1, 2015Knowledge Portal
Social seed networks: Identifying central farmers for equitable seed access

This article (PDF) in the Agricultural Systems Journal, demonstrates how informal seed systems’ social relationships are structured in two communities and suggests that community-based agrobiodiversity initiatives could use networks to promote more equitable improved seed distribution. Community-based agrobiodiversity management projects have been at the forefront of integrating informal seed systems into food security initiatives. »