By Rachel Wynberg, Jaci van Niekerk, Rose Williams and Lawrence Mkhaliphi
Focusing on small-scale farmers, their indigenous agricultural knowledge and practices, and the traditional varieties that they grow, this Biowatch Policy Brief reviews farmers’ rights in South Africa and the extent to which policies, laws and practices support seed sovereignty and the conservation of agricultural biodiversity.
A collaborative effort between Biowatch and the Environmental Evaluation Unit at UCT, the objective of the Policy Brief is to help inform policy debate and so enable small-scale farmers to freely use, exchange and sell their seeds and have greater control over their food production and security. It also aims to stem the imposition on small-scale farmers of inappropriate, costly varieties that cannot be replanted from year to year due to intellectual property and technology restrictions.
This Policy Brief draws on recent research conducted by the University of Cape Town, Biowatch’s long-term work with small-scale farmers in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo provinces, and the ongoing engagement of both organisations in the policy arena.
Policy Brief: Securing Farmers’ Rights and Seed Sovereignty in South Africa can be downloaded from the Biowatch website at http://www.biowatch.org.za/docs/policy/seed.pdf