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3 key learnings for seed sovereignty in the global South

What’s happening with seeds in the global South?

After the cancellation of the Reclaim the Seeds this year, ASEED decided to connect with seed custodians from the global South and combine with recent research including front-line indigenous and/or peasant cultivators on the ground to make a 3-part series of articles. The three articles are organised around three key learnings on the changing states and movements of seeds, primarily into and within East Africa. The three key learnings are below and you can click on them to access each short article:

1. “Corporate” or “industrial” seeds and seed systems represent a perfect distillation of the essence of contemporary colonial capitalism

2. Law, international trade and aid must be analysed and addressed together to combat corporate domination and monopolisation of seeds

3. South-South interactions demand more attention

To clarify, we acknowledge that it is foolish to claim a comprehensive understanding of what is happening with regards to seeds in East Africa let alone the global South. We do hope, however, that this specific regional focus enriches the readers’ understanding of perhaps more familiar global processes and motivates them to learn how they materialise in the local regions from which you are based and feel committed to.

Our aims were to provide an accessible update, to encourage in-depth learning with links to excellent learning materials, and to share what we understand to be the most critical recent movements in the region. These are movements with seeds which seem set to determine whether communities and societies located in the global South can decolonise their food systems, achieve food sovereignty and adapt to climate change with appropriate socio-cultural and agro-ecological solutions. We have tried to get up to speed with the seed and connect you to the most fertile forms of resistance against the monopolising efforts of destructive corporate and industrial food systems.

Let us not forget:

“Whoever controls seeds, controls our food system” Vandana Shiva, Navdanya movement, India

Heartfelt thanks go out to those who gave support, read the draft and gave feedback with editing suggestions. We decided to directly include some of the most insightful feedback in the form of a text box which links to a hashtag in the main text, e.g. #1.

Many thanks to the contributors of this nourishing learning journey:
Cátia Pino Montmany, Gabi Murillo, Jonathan Pérez Rodríguez, Katie Sandwell with TNI, Kim Lang, Martina Madaula, Nora Valgas Valverde, Nout van der Vaart with Hivos, Renée Vellvé and supporters with GRAIN, Patrick Mulvany with CAWR and AgroecologyNow!, Rebeca Segal, Sinéad Fortune and Fiona with Gaia Foundation and the Seed Sovereignty UK and Ireland Programme.

ASEED is a small grassroots collective run mostly by volunteers. We are proud to have the ability to put time and energy into researching topics around agriculture, climate and social justice! However, in order to keep up structures that support this work, along with organizing events and direct actions we need structural funding. During this COVID crisis it is especially hard to find the kind of funding that pays for our financial administration, small budget for coordination and fundraising, and rent on our office. A great way to help us stay structurally funded is to become a monthly contributor! You can do that by visiting the SUPPORT US page on our website. Want to get involved in other ways? Contact us at info@aseed.net.