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Briefing on Seeds

Farmers and growers have saved seeds since farming and growing began. Seeds are a core and essential part of many farming systems, and farmers’ ownership and control of seeds  – seeds they save, open pollinated seeds, and an apt, varied range of seeds for both food security and food sovereignty – is one of the biggest agri-food issues of our times. The nexus of the problem is this: a small handful of agri-food and chemical giants have significant control of the ever tightening seed market. Meanwhile small farmers, gardeners and growers are finding it more and more difficult to save and access seeds. These are also threats to seed saving, often under the guise of supposed improvements in efficiency, performance and safety. When legislation is written with the interests of the major corporations involved in seeds in mind, it inevitably ends up promoting a business-as-usual model of limited varieties, use of pesticides, GM and other agri-industrial inputs and processes. Organic and other alternative ways of dealing with seeds sometimes have different needs – e.g. organic […]