1312 - 1311 African peasants reject the assault on peasant seeds

African farmers’ organisations gathered on 14 November 2013 in Harare to discuss the threats to African agriculture such as acquisition of African land for food exports and the increasing efforts of multinational seed companies to reform African seed laws.


Multinationals want to change these laws in a way that would potentially eliminate all traditional seed varieties and the family farmers’ system of exchanging and saving seeds. Multinational seed companies are pressing African governments to allow only certified “corporate” seed varieties and to criminalize all non-certified seeds. 


Farmers’ organisations reject these corporate-inspired seeds laws and promote farmer-based and controlled seeds systems. These systems guarantee seed diversity and accessible traditional crop varieties. If farmers can continue to control their own seeds, they avoid becoming dependent on expensive agricultural inputs. Farmer-based seeds systems are also adapt more readily to climate change.


In the end, African farmers unanimously rejected the corporate model of agriculture and maintained their belief in African farmer-controlled seed systems. As one women farmer put it, “Women farmers have few resources and do not want seed that we can plant for one season only or seed that is owned by companies. We believe in our own seeds that we can access from our own collections or from our farmer networks, free of charge.”


Source: La Via Campesina

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