News Archive

18 April 2016
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Laurent Gaberell, Berne Declaration

An intergovernmental working group created by the Human Rights Council to develop a United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other Peoples Working in Rural Areas is meeting May 17-20, 2016, in Geneva. The draft Declaration that is being discussed includes a right to seeds (article 22).

17 April 2016
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The new Voluntary guide for national seed policy formulation is now available at the FAO Website in English, Spanish and French.

15 March 2016
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UPOV members are meeting in Geneva this week for its Spring session. Its main rule-making body, the Consultative Committee (CC) will meet on 17th March in the morning to be followed by the UPOV Council, its highest decision-making body. Generally the proceedings of the CC are closed to observers.

15 March 2016
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Alliance of Food Sovereignty Africa (AFSA)

In an open letter dated 28th January 2016 addressed to UPOV Members, AFSA, a pan African platform representing small holder farmers, pastoralists, hunter/gatherers, indigenous peoples, citizens and environmentalists from Africa expressed its outraged at the deliberate exclusion of civil society and representatives of smallholder farmers from discussions leading to the adoption of a regional Protocol on PVP.

15 March 2016
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Zhu Zhenyan (Third World Network), TWN Info Service on Intellectual Property Issues (Mar16/02) 4 March 2016,

China’s revised Seed Law was adopted on 4 November 2015 by the Standing 
Committee of the National People’s Congress and the law went into effect on 1st January 2016. The revision process lasted almost 3 years and the revision of some provisions raised nationwide attention and debate among the industry, agricultural departments of all levels, research institutions and civil society groups.

13 March 2016
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This publication by GRAIN looks at what the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) might mean for farmers’ seeds in the region, in the context of the recently signed Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). RCEP will include the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN): Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It will also include six regional partners that already have free trade agreements (FTAs) with ASEAN: Australia, China, India, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea.

8 March 2016
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Salvatore Ceccarelli

Five of the global issues most frequently debated today are the decline of biodiversity in general and of agrobiodiversity in particular, climate change, hunger and malnutrition, poverty and water. Seed is central to all five issues. The way in which seed is produced has been arguably their major cause. But it can also be the solution to all these issues

Salvatore Ceccarelli (2016) The Centrality of Seed: Building Agricultural Resilience Through Plant Breeding

29 February 2016

59 civil society organisations from South and North urge the ITPGRFA Secretary Shakeel Bhatti to continue with the process outlined in Notification GB6-028 and to identify independent experts to undertake an investigation on implementation of Article 9 by UPOV and WIPO.


15 October 2015
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African Center for Biosafety

The African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) has released preliminary findings of research conducted in Zambia: “Which way forward for Zambia’s smallholder farmers: Green Revolution input subsidies or agro-ecology?” The research is part of a three year multi-country programme looking at the impacts of the Green Revolution on small-scale farmers in southern Africa, with a particular focus on seed and soil fertility.As with the rest of the region, small-scale farming households in Zambia have maize as their primary crop and produce mainly for household use with surpluses sold or exchang