African Centre for Biodiversity – Press Release, 31 May 2018
“There remain deep concerns regarding both Bills. For example, the Plant Improvement Bill will require farmers – or black- or women-owned small seed enterprises who want to produce commercially, to comply with the onerous and prohibitively costly requirements of the Bill on the same footing as multinational seed companies. This is clearly outrageous. As to the Plant Breeders’ Rights Bill, if farmers recycle and share popular open-pollinated varieties (OPVs) that are protected in the law, they are liable to prosecution, unless they are producing for private AND non-commercial purposes only, i.e. on their own holdings and for the sole use of the household.”
27 March 2018 – At Parliament hearing on Seed Bills Amendments
African Centre for Biodiversity – Lobby Paper
Find other summaries with videos and pics of the hearings attended and people who spoke:
Also read: Resistance is fertile! Farmers rise up against South Africa’s corporate seed laws, By Linzi Lewis and Sibusiso Nkosi – ACBIO
“This is a summary in simple terms from my perspective, of what the Plant Improvement Bill & Plant Breeders Bills are about and why we are making such a fuss about them AND our last chance to do something. NOW YOU CAN WRAP YOUR HEAD AROUND THIS.
Note that some of the changes that they have made are better then they were before. I.e. some exemptions for Open pollinated heirloom varieties, thanks to places like Livingseeds.co.za who have been fighting the act. WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY take Livingseeds objections to the act seriously and implement them. Even so, Heirloom, Open pollinated variety seed companies need even more freedom then the act is willing to give. They should not only be exempt but be able to sell seed in bulk.
Please watch, read the summary info below and decide what in the bills you want changed. Send an email to addresses below before August to make sure that they hear us.
THIS IS OUR LAST CHANCE to make sure that we don’t get into a system where we will be ARRESTED for GIVING away our own seeds and under total control of the corporations like Monsanto. (The wording of the act leaves the possibility of corporate control wide open).
African Centre for Biodiversity wrote: The Plant Breeders’ Rights and Plant Improvement Bills restrict the saving, trading, exchanging, and sale of seed. This can have massive ramifications on seed and food sovereignty, agricultural biodiversity, access to diverse seed, and increasing the disparities and inequalities in South African agriculture, food and nutrition.
We urgently need to protect and preserve our food and seed sovereignty. It is in our best interests that we make our voices heard and retain what really is ours, which is the right to our food, the quality and control of our seed.
CALL TO ACTION – You asked what we can do – here it is.
Please Help by sending emails – BY AUGUST – to reinforce our points from the public hearings.
PLEASE FIND ALL EMAILS AND TEMPLATES AT THIS LINK
Start saving seeds!!!! Open pollinated. (Not hybrids)
Gather your movements, ideas, skills, connections, Family, friends together. If you have ideas. Share. All hands on deck.
Please please support and share this video.
Germany supports the battle for Seed Freedom in South Africa
Please if you have points to add, or question – post on this thread.