Agroecology ensures our future well-being
September 22nd, 2016

Edward Mukiibi of Slow Food Uganda appeals to young African farmers, agronomist and food activists to embrace agroecology to safeguard our future. As a young African with a farming background, like many out there, I cannot underestimate the contributions of agroecology to the sustainability of our fragile ecosystems. It is undeniable that African land is … Read more

Heritage grains in Canada: digging our roots, planting our seeds
June 20th, 2016

Two years ago Shelley and Tony Spruit started Against the Grain, an initiative that is reviving heritage grains in Ontario, Canada, from field to fork. Their experience demonstrates how family farmers build seed sovereignty and educate consumers on their power to make change. In this article, their daughter Kristen writes their story. She explains how … Read more

Interview: Mariam Mayet on protecting farmers’ crops from GM
June 20th, 2016

Mariam Mayet is the director of the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB). In a recent report, ACB turns their attention towards genetic modification of non-commercial ‘orphan crops’ and the way this technology is replacing farmer-managed food systems. In this interview Mariam explains what is wrong with genetic modification of these crops and where the real … Read more

Improving access to vegetable seeds for resilient family farms in Costa Rica
April 16th, 2016

A group of coffee farmers in Turrialba, Costa Rica, is successfully exploring diversification options with horticultural food crops. This is being done in collaboration with two vegetable seed banks that allow farmers to use varieties freely under the multilateral system of FAO´s International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Experiments with tomato … Read more

Evolutionary populations: Living gene banks in farmers’ fields in Iran
April 16th, 2016

Efforts to rapidly increase on-farm biodiversity are a matter of urgency in an era of climate change. To do so, farmers need better access to the genetic material of research stations and gene banks. Collaboration with scientists who are willing and able to work together with farmers is crucial. The Evolutionary Plant Breeding programme in … Read more

Seed banks and national policy in Brazil
April 16th, 2016

Increasingly, seeds are the domain of professional breeders, agribusiness and policy makers. They decide what makes for a good variety and they develop legislation that excludes other varieties. Despite this, farmer organisations and social movements in Paraíba, Brazil, have managed to strengthen decentralised farmer-driven seed selection and distribution systems and public seed policies. They may … Read more