An overseas look! Seeds of the people

Seeds of the People

On April 17, as part of the World Day of Peasant Struggles, we shared an audiovisual series on the Venezuelan Seed Law. Built on the basis of the constituent debate, this law constitutes a popular action plan for food sovereignty and the conservation of agrobiodiversity. The innovative content of this law has been recognized by more than 200 social movements, researchers and academics from 28 countries (see declaration of solidarity

Since its approval, many actions for the rescue, multiplication, conservation and exchange of seeds have been promoted by various organizations and movements in the country, all of which are weaving efforts towards the popular seed plan as a key contribution to the current crisis situation in which food is at the center of the war against the people.

Likewise, the agribusiness interests that are well represented in the National Assembly today, this very day of the peasant struggles, seek to reform our seed law, and to present a bill in favor of the interests of the corporations and actors that currently monopolize and bachaquean the imported seeds.

In this series we share some of these experiences that from the resistance are working for the sovereign seed and we are called to continue weaving this network.


Por Semillas del Pueblo

Este 17 de Abril en el marco del día mundial de las luchas campesinas, compartimos una serie audiovisual sobre la ley de semillas de Venezuela. Construida desde el debate constituyente,  esta ley constituye un plan de acción popular para la soberanía alimentaria y conservación de la agrobiodiversidad. El  contenido innovador de esta ley ha recibido el reconocimiento de más de 200 movimientos sociales, investigadores y académicos de 28 países (ver declaratoria de solidaridad
Desde su aprobación múltiples acciones de rescate, multiplicación, conservación e intercambio de semillas han sido impulsadas desde diversas organizaciones y movimientos del país, todas estas tejen esfuerzos hacia el plan popular de semillas como un aporte clave ante la actual coyuntura de crisis en la que los alimentos están en el centro de la guerra contra el pueblo.
Asimismo, los intereses del agronegocio que están hoy bien representados en la Asamblea Nacional este mismo día de las luchas campesinas pretenden reformar nuestra ley de semillas, y presentar un proyecto de ley a favor de los intereses de las  corporaciones  y actores que actualmente acaparan y bachaquean las semillas importadas.
En esta serie compartimos algunas de estas experiencias que desde la resistencia están trabajando por la semilla soberana  y nos convocamos  a seguir tejiendo esta red.
ver mas videos e informaciones aquí:

Campaña Ley de semillas para todxs en Venezuela:

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Proceedings of the 9th Organic Seed Growers Conference February 14 - 17, 2018 Corvallis, Oregon • Oregon State University Synergy that Sustains

Proceedings of the 9th Organic Seed Growers Conference

February 14 - 17, 2018
Corvallis, Oregon • Oregon State University

Synergy that Sustains

History & Mission

Organic Seed Alliance’s mission is to (OSA) advance ethical seed solutions to meet food and farming needs in a changing world. We accomplish our mission through research, education, and advocacy work that closely engages organic farmers and other seed professionals.

In 2002, the USDA National Organic Program implemented the organic seed rule requiring that organic producers use organic seed when available. As a result, the organic seed market expanded and demand for organic seed production and breeding education grew. OSA was formerly operated as Abundant Life Seed Foundation, a non-profit seed business. In 2003, a tragic fire resulted in the loss of Abundant Life Seed Foundation’s seed collection. At that time, the board of directors launched OSA as a separate nonprofit organization to support the growing organic seed movement and the Abundant Life Seed catalog and business were sold.

OSA now has a long track record of serving as one of the leading organic seed institutions in the US. Each year, OSA educates thousands of farmers and other agricultural community members, conducts professional organic plant breeding and seed production research on multiple crops, and advocates for national policies that strengthen organic seed systems.


We believe seed is both our common cultural heritage and a living natural resource fundamental to food production. Proper stewardship of our plant genetic resources involves their conservation and careful management in a manner that allows seed to continually evolve with challenges of the envi- ronment, cultural practices of sustainable agriculture, and the need to feed people. Our vision is an or- ganic food system that is built on a foundation of seed well-adapted to the regional climatic conditions in which it is sown.

Our research expands access to high-quality organic seed through research, development, and com- mercialization. We engage in participatory plant breeding projects that support organic seed systems and address regional and national seed and food needs.

We provide education and training that expands the foundation of organic seed systems. This includes providing technical assistance in plant breeding and seed production to farmers, students, seed com- panies, and others through workshops, consultations, and publications.

Our advocacy work promotes actions and policies that support the availability and integrity of organic seed by confronting the concentrated ownership of seed and protecting farmers’ rights as seed stew- ards. We engage in policy initiatives, discussions, and research at the national level.

Learn more at


Working Paper on Farmers' Right to Participate in Decision-making

APBREBES Working Paper on Farmers' Right to Participate in Decision-making
The right of farmers to participate in making decisions, at the national level, on matters related to the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA) is recognized in Article 9.2(c) of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (the Treaty). It is a prerequisite for the full and effective implementation of Farmers’ Rights. Of particular concern is decision-making related to UPOV and other intellectual property systems, bilateral, regional and pluri-lateral trade or intellectual property agreements as well as seed certification and marketing laws. 
Chee Yoke Ling et al., (September 2016) Farmers’ Right to Participate in Decision-making – implementing Article 9.2 (c) of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources, Working Paper, APBREBES

DYNAmic seed networks for managing European diVERSITY!

In the panorama of the dynamic maintenance of the biodiversity, many actors are involved. The project DYNAVERSITY aims to strengthen bonds and sinergie among farmers, researchers, community of dynamic management of the agro-biodiversity, also looking for an involvement from the side of the consumption. The partnerships involves organizations of Hungary, France, Belgium and Italy. In fact, thanks to the involvement of the European Coordination (EC-LLD), for the FIRST time directly involved in an European project, the action of the project will develop in many more European countries!!!!

Among the principal objectives to strengthen the collaboration among experiences "on-farm" and dynamic conservation. Besides the presence in the partnership of Federparchi, the net of the Italian protected areas, will be an occasion of further reflection on the complexity of the dynamic maintenance of the agro-biodiversity.
The European Coordination (EC-LLD) makes protagonist with a part of project that concerns the mapping of the subjects and the interested parts to European level, to promote new partnerships with the purpose to increase the diffused awareness.

Another tool activated by DYNAVERSITY and facing the involvement of external experiences to the partnership has been the creation of a group of experts, insides and outside to the project, denominated SKEP (sharing knowledge and experience platform) where knowledges and good practices are met. In English skep is literally the straw beehive of the bees, with the arrival of this Spring, let's pollen! Let’s liberate diversity!


For more information visit the site :

Message to the International Treaty!

To sign or support the appeal, please send us back the name of your organization :

• Mauro Conti, IPC ( International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty ): ipc- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

• Émilie Lapprand, French Farmers' seeds network ( Réseau Semences Paysannes) : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Meeting in Rome 5-9 October 2015

We want to tell you that you are in the process of destroying the treaty. It is organising the theft of our seeds and our knowledge. We can no longer continue to give them to researchers and other prospectors that come and collect them in our fields, to then put them in the Treaty’s gene banks. As long as you do not ban all bio-pirated patents, as long as farmers do not have a right to keep, use, exchange and sell seeds from their own harvests, then we will not collaborate with research and gene banks that serve the multinational seed companies.

The grains kept in genetic resource banks run by the multilateral system of the Treaty on Plants (IT PGRFA) belong to us: they are our inheritance from many centuries of farmers selection, and they have been collected in our fields.

However we are often refused access to seeds of peasant variety because we are not researchers. Sometimes we obtain some grains on the condition that we do not use them for agricultural production: they can only be used for research purposes. We have stated that their conservation in cold chambers is not appropriate and that they need several years of new selection before the harvests can be donated in the current growing conditions. However those of us who undertake the collection and safeguarding of genetic resources are forbidden to exchange or sell them to other farmers, it is usually restrained by seed laws and regulations in the majority of the countries which take part in the treaty.

The treaty promised equitable sharing of the profit created by the industry using our seeds for their own selections. After 10 years we have not seen this, rather a shift in the opposite direction. Farmers have given seeds to industry; industry never paid for them, and the little money that governments donated has not been given to peasant organisations, but has consolidated international industry’s research programmes. We gave our seeds free of charge to the seed banks, and we accept that industry uses the useful varieties. But when we use these varieties, laws in the majority of signatory countries, require us to pay royalties, or forbid us to use the seeds that have come from our own harvests, asserting that they are now property of the industry. 
We inherited our seeds from our parents, we have looked after them carefully, selected and conserved them for future generations. We have given them to the treaty along with our knowledge, as we have always been proud to share the results of our work. We thought that we were protected against their being appropriated by industry property laws, such as plant breeders’ laws and patents. But now you say that you are going to launch the Divseek programme, to scan the genetic sequences of the resources in the gene bank so as to publish them in electronic databases. This programme was not created for us, we do not grow genetic sequences, or megabytes, and we do not need this information. But industry created the search engines and software to process all of the ‘genetic information’ in their database, for it to be patented and associated with some favourable characteristic, useful for agriculture, or the industrial processing of harvests. These patents on the ‘functional units of heredity’ are already legal in many countries and they will prevent us from keeping the opportunity to grow our seeds, the very seeds that we gave free of charge to the treaty seed banks.

We had a period of dialogue with the treaty. But despite the governing body’s decision in Bali in 2011 and in Oman in 2013, spaces for dialogue closed up, preventing us from participating to working groups or expert consultations in an efficient and formalized manner that will respect our organisational autonomy. Peasants organisations that are working in their fields to implement articles 5 and 6 of the Treaty on in situ conservation and the sustainable use of seeds and those that fight for the implementation of article 9 on the rights of farmers are always considered as ‘observers’, with the same statute as academics or journalists, while there are the main actors and on the front line of managing the very genetic plant resources that the Treaty defends! Yet Industry is courted and imposes its own solutions.

As long as the Treaty is not reformed to fully apply articles 5,6 and 9, we will continue to create our own multilateral exchange system between peasants. We are calling on governments to support our movement, basis of food sovereignty.
Signatories - September 2015

1) Farmers and gardeners organizations

•   African Centre for Biodiversity, Soutn Africa and Tanzania

•   AJAC LUKAAL, l'Association des Jeunes Agriculteurs de Casamance "Plantons", Sénagal

•   ANMI, Asamblea Nacional de Mapuches de Izquierda, Chili

•   ANAMURI, Asociación Nacional l de Mujeres Rurales e Indígenas, Chili

•   BEDE ( Biodiversité : Echanges et Diffusion d'Expériences ), France

•   Bio Burkina Faso, Burkina Faso.

•   Campaña Semillas de Identidad, Colombia.

•   COASP, Comité ouest africain des Semences Paysannes et l’ensemble de ses membres, Western Africa

•   CONAPROCH, Confederación Nacional de Pequeños Productores, Chili

•   COPACO-PRP, Confédération Paysanne du Congo, Democratic Républic of Congo

•   ECVC, European Coordination Via Campesina

•   Fahamu Africa et le mouvement des femmes “ Nous sommes la solution”, Western Africa

•   Ferme école Agroécologique Benkadibugu, Mali

•   FOOL AVOINE, pour une biodiversité sans OGM ni brevet, France

•   Landworkers' Alliance , United-Kingdom

•   MAELA, Mouvement agroécologique de l'Amérique latine et les Caraïbes

•   MABD, Mouvement de l’Agriculture Biodynamique, France

•   MPA, Movimento dos pequenos agricultores, Brasil

•   Ranquil, Confederación Nacional Campesina y de Pueblos originarios, Chili

•   Red de Semillas Campesinas, Argentina

•   Redes de semillas campesinas (RSC), Columbia

•   Red de Semillas Libres, Colombia

•   Red de Semillas "Resembrando e Intercambiando", Spain

•   RESACIFROAT, Réseau d'Appui à la Citoyenneté des Femmes Rurales d'Afrique de l'Ouest et du Tchad, Western Africa

•   Réseau Semences Paysannes (RSP), France

•   Rete Semi Rurali, Italy

•   Union Paysanne, Canada.

2) Supports

•   Alkhalachofa, grupo de consumo responsable, Alcala de Henares, Spain

•   Australian Food Sovereignty, Australia

•   Burkinature, Burkina Faso

•   Chile Sustentable, Chile

•   Doman chalosse vivante, France

•   FIAN, Colombia

•   Foro Ambiental Santiagueño, Argentina

•   Laura Gutiérrez Escobar, Red de Semillas Libres de Colombia et FIAN, Colombia

•   Myriam del Carmen Salazar Villarreal Doctora en Agroecología, Colombia

•   Terra Nuova ONLUS, Italy

   Vía Orgánica, Mexicowrite this message which is currently already gathering more than 30 organizations from Africa, America, Australia or Europe.


Join us and contribute with your signature or your support ! 



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