Freedom of Seeds

Seed is the source of life and the first link in the food chain. Control over seed means a control over our lives, our food and our freedom.”

Vandana Shiva and her organization Global Alliance for Seed Freedom are starting a global initiative for the freedom of peasants to keep their seeds. The event will take place contemporarily and in coordination with Jan Satyagraha starting on October 2nd (Gandhi’s Birth Anniversary) and ending on October 16th (World Food Day). These two weeks will see activities world-wide to raise awareness on the issue of Seed Freedom.

Currently, mainly countries in the world have laws which prohibit peasants to keep seeds since big companies like Monsanto hold the patents rights of the seeds. Biopiracy and seed monopolies are driving peasants into poverty around the world and especially in India. The spread of GMO seeds and its accompanying fertilizers are a huge thread to the environment. Gandhi had said, “as long as the superstition that unjust laws must be obeyed exist, so will slavery exist”. If you are planning an activity during the Action Fortnight, contact the Global Alliance for Seed Freedom so that your activity can be included in the global calendar.

The Action fortnight starts with the worldwide launch of the Global Citizen’s report on Seed Freedom which has been elaborated jointly by over 100 groups, organizations and networks. Furthermore, the civil disobedience activities around the world include seed swaps, protest marches and the declaration of Seed Freedom Zones. Here are some activities which will take place:

  • Oct 2nd – Protest Demonstration for Seed Freedom in Delhi.
  • Oct 2nd- London Freedom Seed Bank Open Meeting by Food from the Sky, London, UK.
  • October 8th – Launch of Global Seed Report and Campaign in Mallorca, Spain
  • Oct 11th – Screening of film on Seeds and Seed Multinationals by Colabora with a talk by Vandana Shiva in Stuttgart, Germany.
  • Oct 16th – Vasundhara – A national gathering of seed keepers and organic farmer to celebrate 25 years of seed freedom and food freedom and plan actions for the next 25 years in Dehradun, India

The first step to participate in the action is to join the Alliance for Seed Freedom by signing the declaration. Together with the Alliance we at Barcelona Consensus say: “We commit ourselves to defending seed freedom as the freedom of diverse species to evolve; as the freedom of human communities to reclaim open source seed as a commons.”

Watch Vandana Shiva explain her initiative:

Picture courtesy of blurdom, merci.

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One thought on “Freedom of Seeds

  1. I have been attending a lot of sustainability meetings over August and September here in Tasmania presented by the Tamar Natural Resources Management group. I have learned so much in such a short time I feel like my head might explode with possibilities BUT I have also joined the local Sustainable Living Working Group (I like the “working” bit as there are far too many “thinking” and not enough “doing” groups! ;)) and they have a monthly heritage seed swap! I am also just about to liase with a lady who has been organising seed swaps through something along the lines of blog penpals swapping seeds. I couldn’t join in because they were American and I am Australian and never the twain shall get seeds through customs BUT she did say that she would help me to get organised to swap seeds with Australian bloggers and that should diversify the genetic heritage seed pool nicely. I love this post, we have missed you Rahel! I hope that life has been treating you and yours kindly and that you are very happy in your new place 🙂

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