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Wild coffee grows in these forests of the Ethiopian highlands - and nowhere else. Photo: Indrias Getachew.

Ethiopia's vulnerable tropical forests are key to securing the future of coffee

Fiona Hesselden, University of Huddersfield

24th March 2016

Coffee may be grown all around the tropics, writes Fiona Hesselden, but it originates in just one place: the 'coffee rainforests' of the Ethiopian highlands. We depend on the wild plants for new genes and varieties, yet the forests are falling fast to the advance of farmers. To preserve the forests and all their biodiversity, the original people of the forest must receive their just rewards. more...
Participatory barley breeding in India. Photo: Salvatore Ceccarelli .

Harnessing the power of evolution in participatory seed breeding

Salvatore Ceccarelli / Independent Science News

29th February 2016

Conventional agriculture has made an enemy of evolution as pests and diseases develop resistance to biocides and over-bred hybrids succumb to them, writes Salvatore Ceccarelli. But there is another way - for farmers to participate in breeding seed lines that are continuously adapting to their environment, with ever improving yields, flavour, pest-resistance, and other sought-after qualities. more...
Dr Vandana Shiva in Brussels as part of a tour to promote a new campaign and booklet: 'The law of the seed'. Photo: GreensEFA via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

In the footsteps of Gandhi: an interview with Vandana Shiva

Scott London

14th February 2016

Vandana Shiva is more than just a leading scientist, author and campaigner on green issues and anti-globalisation, writes Scott London. She is also among the most prominent of Mahatma Ghandi's intellectual heirs. In this interview, she discusses how this led her to be an outspoken voice on such crucial environmental issues as seed legacy, biopiracy and economic injustice. more...
Protestors in Rosario, Argentina, comes out in support of the Monsanto blockade at Malvinas Argentinas, tth January 2016. Photo: Fernando Der Meguerditchian / Cooperativa de Comunicación La Brújula via Facebook.

'No Pasaran!' After two years, Argentina's Monsanto blockade is fighting on

Ciara Low / GMWatch

29th January 2016

Protesters have now blocked a Monsanto seed factory in Córdoba, Argentina for over two years, writes Ciara Low. Another eviction attempt is now imminent, and campaigners are calling for a big mobilization this Sunday to fortify the blockade and send out a strong message to Monsanto and its acolytes: 'No Pasaran!' - 'They shall not pass!' more...
Bill and Melinda Gates, 18th March 2014. Photo: Steve Jurvetson via Flickr (CC BY).

Gates Foundation is spearheading the neoliberal plunder of African agriculture

Colin Todhunter

21st January 2016

The Gates Foundation - widely assumed to be 'doing good', is imposing a neoliberal model of development and corporate domination that's opening up Africa's agriculture to land and seed-grabbing global agribusiness, writes Colin Todhunter. In the process it is foreclosing on the real solutions - enhancing food security, food sovereignty and the move to agroecological farming. more...
These Venezuelan watermelon (sandía) seeds are now protected by law from corporate takeover, while GMOs are banned. Photo: Rufino Uribe via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Venezuela's 'people as legislators' ban GMOs, protect traditional seeds

William Camacaro, Frederick B. Mills & Christina M. Schiavoni

2nd January 2015

A radical new Seed Law drafted by Venezuelan people, farmers and NGOs was signed into law in the closing days of 2015, write William Camacaro, Frederick B. Mills & Christina M. Schiavoni. Striking back against the corporate takeover of seeds and peddling of GMOs, the Seed Law bans transgenic seeds, protects the country's germplasm, and establishes the legal foundation for a participatory, agroecological food and farming system. more...
Artwork: 'Roots amd Wings' by Angela Marie Henriette via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

A People's Pact to Protect the Planet

Vandana Shiva

2nd December 2015

We cannot rely on governments in meeting in Paris to solve the many-headed climate problem, writes Vandana Shiva. It's up to us to safeguard the future of the Earth, and of our own and other species. So let's all join in this pact to love and protect our one and only home. more...
Make hay while the sun shines! This farmer in Cyprus can remain GMO-free - for now. Photo: Tony Woods via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

GM crops: an uneasy truce hangs over Europe

Mary Dobbs, Queen's University Belfast

9th October 2015

With all the EU's GMO exemptions filed, a clear majority - by number, population and area of farmland - have chosen to be GMO-free, writes Mary Dobbs. But the rules surrounding their opt-outs are complex in the extreme and many countries will find it hard to maintain their GMO-free status - specially if the Commission and the biotech corporations like Monsanto and Syngenta choose to exercise their powers. more...
The Vandana Shiva Reader (Culture Of The Land), front over (cut).

Green Revolution: wonderful science, catastrophic consequences

Colin Tudge

12th July 2015

In her new book The Vandana Shiva Reader, the celebrated campaigner and scientist deplores the way in which the Green Revolution forced India's poorest farmers off their land, writes Colin Tudge. Now she fears even worse outcomes in Africa where a GMO-fuelled farming revolution is under way. more...
A handful of seeds, Porto-Novo, Oueme, Benin. Photo: Adam Cohn via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Seed Freedom! A last chance to thwart the great African seed grab

Ali-Masmadi Jehu-Appiah

29th June 2015

Nineteen African nations meet today in Arusha, Tanzania, to finalise a 'plant protection' protocol that would open up the continent's seeds to corporate interests, taking away farmers' rights to grow, improve, sell and exchange their traditional seeds, while allowing commercial breeders to make free use of the biodiversity they embody, to sell them back to farmers in 'improved' form. more...
Rice farmers and their children greeting visitors to Brong-Ahafo village, Ghana. The seeds they grow, and the land they grow them on, are essential to their survival. Photo: Eileen Delhi via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Africa's farmers fight the corporate takeover of seeds, land and food

Chris Walker

4th June 2015

Lured by promises of aid and investment, African governments are rewriting laws to create lucrative opportunities for corporate agribusiness, writes Chris Walker - while consigning their own farmers to servitude and landlessness. But now farmers are rising up, as in Ghana where a new 'Monsanto law' threatens to end their right to grow, save and share their ancestral seeds. more...
Women from RUWFAG. Photo: Global Justice Now.

Ghana's women farmers resist the G7 plan to grab Africa's seeds

Heidi Chow

22nd May 2015

Sharing and saving seed is a crucial part of traditional farming all over Africa, writes Heidi Chow. Maybe that's why governments, backed by multinational seed companies, are imposing oppressive seed laws that attack the continent's main food producers and open the way to industrial agribusiness. But Ghana's women farmers are having none of it. more...

seeds: 1/25 of 35
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The work is hard, but the seed is free - for now! Men and women harvest the Ethiopian staple grain teff in a roadside field between Axum and Adwa in Northern Ethiopia. Photo: Alan via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Carving up Africa - aid donors and agribusiness plot the great seed privatization

Ian Fitzpatrick & Oliver Tickell

26th March 2015

An elite group of aid donors and agribusiness corporations met in London this week to plan the takeover of Africa's seeds, writes Ian Fitzpatrick, replacing traditional seed breeding and saving by small farmers with a corporate model of privatized, 'improved', patented, genetically uniform and hybrid seeds in a profit-driven market. more...
Seed saving in Malawi: farmer Maria Banda's cupped hands holding cowpea seeds. Photo: Stephen Greenberg / ACBIO.

Grabbing Africa's seeds: USAID, EU and Gates Foundation back agribusiness seed takeover

Stephen Greenberg & Oliver Tickell

23rd March 2015

The latest salvo in the battle over Africa's seed systems has been fired, writes Stephen Greenberg, with the Gates Foundation and USAID playing puppet-masters to Africa's governments - now meeting in Addis Ababa - as they drive forward corporation-friendly seed regulations that exclude and marginalize the small farmers whose seeds and labour feed the continent. more...
Sorghum, one of the crops that feeds Africa, is of little interest to profit-oriented corporate agriculture. Photo: Janki via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Land and seed laws under attack as Africa is groomed for corporate recolonization

GRAIN / AFSA / The Ecologist

12th February 2015

Across Africa, laws are being rewritten to open farming up to an agribusiness invasion - displacing the millions of small cultivators that now feed the continent, and replacing them with a new model of profit-oriented agriculture using patented seeds and varieties. The agencies effecting the transformation are legion - but they are all marching to a single drum. more...
Hayes Valley Farm Seed Library. Photo: edibleoffice via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

The seed saving rebellion is growing - and banging at the Commission's door

Ben Raskin

29th January 2015

A year ago today, Europe-wide protests defeated an EU regulation that would have outlawed many seed saving activities, writes Ben Raskin. Now growers are taking matters into their own hands, saving and developing open-pollinated seeds - and campaigning for a seed regulation that supports them, not the monopolist seed corporations. more...
Pioneer's PR39F58 maize at Werktuigendagen, Belgium 2009. Photo: Bdk via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

EuroParl votes in new era of GMO farming

13 January 2015

Oliver Tickell

Following a disgraceful EU stitch-up, the European Parliament today passed a law permitting EU-wide GMO crop cultivation. With regulation and safeguards devolved to member states, and only limited 'opt-out' rights, it is a recipe for chaos that GM corporations will ruthlessly exploit. more...
Fresh green chickpeas on sale in Varanasi, India. Photo: © Jorge Royan (royan.com.ar) via Wikimedia Commons, (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Obama - stand up for Seed Freedom and Food Democracy

Vandana Shiva

23rd January 2015

President Obama will shortly be on his way to India. In this Open Letter, Vandana Shiva invites him to join in securing the essential human freedoms to seeds and food - and to set aside any plans to pressure India into changing its laws to allow the corporate domination of life. more...
The launch of the South West Seed Savers Coop at Embercombe Farm. Photo: SWSSC.

Farmers join to save the seeds that feed us

Ashley Wheeler

6th January 2015

Farmers and growers in south-west England have united to reclaim the lost skill of seed saving, writes Ashley Wheeler. They are determined to grow, develop, share and disseminate open-pollinated seeds, and oppose EU laws granting commercial plant breeders a legal monopoly on the seeds that sustain our lives. more...
Farmers in Ghana marching against the Plant Breeders Bill, now before the country's parliament, September 2014. Photo: Food Sovereignty Ghana.

Ghana's farmers battle ‘Monsanto law' to retain seed freedom

Chris Walker & Oliver Tickell

24th October 2014

Ghana's government is desperate to pass a Plant Breeders Bill that would remove farmers' ancient 'seed freedom' to grow, retain, breed and develop crop varieties - while giving corporate breeders a blanket exemption from seed regulations. Now the farmers are fighting back. more...
More genetic diversity in this small room than in a million acres of industrial farming - the inner recesses of the Heritage Seed Library. Photo: Cultivate Oxford.

MEPs vote against EU seed Regulation

Oliver Tickell

31st January 2014

MEPs have voted against a proposed EU sed regulation that would further concentrate the seed market and discriminate against genetically diverse traditional seeds. more...
Still from Seeds of Sovereignty.

Seeds of Sovereignty

Sharon Garfinkel

13th December 2013

The Gaia Foundation just launched its latest film - Seeds of Sovereignty. Sharon Garfinkel attended the launch - and urges all those interested food and farming, in Africa and elsewhere, to watch it. more...
Seeds

Defending seed sovereignty

Ecologist

20th August, 2012

A new Global Campaign for Seed Freedom will be celebrating the fortnight from Ghandi’s birthday (October 2nd) to World Food Day (October 16th) as the first Seed Satyagraha during which all participants will declare No Patents On Seeds more...
Top 10... organic seed suppliers

Top 10... organic seed suppliers

Mark Briggs

13th April, 2012

As the weather heats up, gardeners’ thoughts are turning towards seeds. We round up the top spots to pick up organic, ethically produced seeds more...
Rio Rocket Stars in A Frisbee to Fly

Rio Rocket Stars in A Frisbee to Fly

Ruth Styles

29th March, 2012

Wonderful illustrations, an entertaining story and a free packet of rocket seeds make Rio Rocket’s adventures an enjoyable way to introduce kids to green issues more...

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