Thursday, January 22, 2015

Africa's Land and Seed Laws Under Attack

The lobby to industrialise food production in Africa is changing seed and land laws across the continent to serve agribusiness corporations. The privatisation of land and seeds is essential if a corporate model of agriculture is to flourish in Africa.

This means pushing for the formal demarcation, registration and titling of farmland, crucial to allowing foreign investors to lease or own land on a long-term basis. With regard to seeds, it means introducing intellectual property rights over plant varieties and criminalising farmers who ignore them.

In all cases, the end goal is to turn what has long been held as a commons in Africa into a marketable commodity that the private sector can control and extract profit from at the expense of small holder farmers and communities. The thinking is that this will make Africa more attractive to business. But this will only erode the rights of rural communities prevent them from continuing to serve as the backbone of the region's food and farming systems.

Together, the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) and GRAIN have investigated who is pushing which legislative or policy changes on land and seed laws in Africa right now.

see full report here

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