lost seeds

Searching for lost seeds...

Everywhere in the world, peasant movements are emerging and organizing in opposition to "agribusiness" and GMOs in order to preserve biodiversity and the future of the planet. These farmers are campaigning for healthy and more environmentally friendly agricultural production. They claim that "another model is possible". In search of lost seeds..." goes to meet these farmers who have freed themselves from industrial farming practices and explains how they are developing ancestral local seed exchange systems adapted to the land and the environment.
DViable and proven solutions exist all over the world, as shown by the examples developed in France, West Africa, Ethiopia, Iran and Indonesia. multimedia production of the RFI, directed by Marco Boscolo, Giordano Cossu and Elisabetta Tola.
Today, only F1 hybrid seeds and patented GMOs are on the market. 90% of the global seed market are controlled by multinationals. If F1 hybrid seeds and GMOs (+) were removed from the planet, there would be almost nothing reproducible. 
For farmers, the key to a sustainable activity is product diversity, which involves research and development of seeds, collected from plant conservatories or from farmers, that are particularly adapted to the climate and the land they grow. 

Symbol of this struggle, farmers' seeds, non-hybrid, non-GMO seeds, free of property rights. They have been exchanged and developed for millennia, true guardians of biodiversity for all humanity.
The defence of traditional seeds is also a political struggle that unites farmers around the world through the exchange of practices... and seeds. In several countries, farmers' associations want to prevent the "hold-up" of life by multinationals. This is how traditional varieties have been reintroduced thanks to seeds miraculously found elsewhere. These farmers can exchange and develop these seeds, because the law allows them to do so for conservation purposes, but they cannot be sold.
What about the future? As Patrick De Kochko, president of the Farmers' Seed Network, explains, there are those who want to make seeds a common good, without commercial value, and those who claim that farmers who develop seeds can then sell them.

In Senegal, West African farmers' organizations denounce the practice of seed certification. The challenge for Senegalese farmers is to continue to produce their own seeds. Their economic survival and the food future of the region are at stake.
In Ethiopia, there are now 12 seed banks in the most populated areas of the country. Thanks to the genetic characterization of 400 cereal varieties, some 50 have been selected that seem to be the most adapted to the country's climatic conditions.
In Iran, farmers have set up a participatory seed selection process, which has resulted in the production of new varieties by testing them directly in the field.
In Indonesia, in Florès, an island between Bali and Timor, the Sunspirit for justice and peace association, founded in 2005 in the wake of the tsunami, has opened an educational centre that includes a cooperative farmers' seed bank and an experimental garden. So far, 15 varieties of seeds have already been recovered.
Since 1961, the seeds authorised for cultivation and marketing in France have been those listed in the official catalogue of plant species and varieties, exclusively F1 hybrids and GMOs.
Like medicinal products, seeds are subject to a prior registration procedure on the market. They have to meet various criteria of stability, uniformity and improvement over existing varieties in the case of field crops. (Arable crops include cereals, oilseeds and protein crops. They account for two thirds of farms).
At the end of 2015, the #YesWeGraine petition mobilized a large number of citizens and associations, with the aim of proposing an amendment to the draft "Law for the recovery of biodiversity, nature and landscapes". This amendment would once again authorize the use of farmers' seeds for agricultural production. A historic change in a context of strong pressure from industrial groups. The text, approved by the Senate, was sent to the National Assembly on May 25, 2016. Will it be a vector of change for peasant networks?


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