by African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB)

Seed legislation is under review in Tanzania with a view to changing this in order to further expand the role of the private sector in the commercial seed sector. This law reform is mainly targeted at the seed marketing laws (Seed Act of 2003 and its regulations of 2007) and revision of its Plant Breeder’s Rights legislation.

Seed can be an important entry point for promoting productivity, nutrition and resilience among small- holder farmers. While investments have primarily focused on strengthening the formal sector, this article documents the degree to which the informal sector remains the core for seed acquisition, especially in Africa. Conclusions drawn from a uniquely comprehensive data set, 9660 observations across six countries and covering 40 crops, show that farmers access 90.2 % of their seed from

Allan Dawson from Manitoba Cooperator reports how  private investigators in Canada are helping the seed trade enforce plant breeders’ rights. New plant breeder rules under UPOV ’91 in Canada give seed companies the option of tracking down those who infringe on those rights through the entire grain system.

by Laurent Gaberell, Berne Declaration

On 28th February 2015, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela enacted a new seed law. The law was adopted by the National Assembly and is the result of several years of consultation within the country, with ample participation of peasant organizations and civil society organizations.

The new law includes a prohibition of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and any form of patents and plant breeders’ rights, as well as detailed provisions on support for peasants’ and farmers’ seed systems.

by 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).


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.

by 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.