What is Seed Sovereignty? (article)

Compiled by Naomi Cook, former NEU Seedbank Volunteer Coordinator at the School of Socio-Economics & Ecology (2019)

What is Seed Sovereignty?

We are familiar with the concept of human sovereignty but how about seeds?  Here is a definition of Seed Sovereignty, a term first used by activist and Global Seed Ambassador, Vandana Shiva Navdanya:

“Seed sovereignty reclaims seeds and biodiversity as commons and public good. The farmer’s rights to breed and exchange diverse open sourced seeds which can be saved and which are not patented, genetically modified, owned or controlled by emerging seed giants.”

Over the last 100 years we have lost 75% of our agricultural diversity – in the past farmers would save and share seed with one another, thus ensuring biodiversity and autonomy.  However, now 75% of our global seed supply comes from corporations where some seeds – such as corn – are often genetically modified.  These seeds cannot be shared from farmer to farmer due to company patents (or the seeds themselves may produce sterile fruit) – there is then ownership over the seeds themselves.  When there is ownership over seeds there is ownership of Planetary food supply.

(Hands Drawing / Shutter Stock account of Naomi Cook)

Recognising our seeds as sovereign is the first step to preserving our local and global biodiversity and, in my opinion, plays a fundamental role in our collective remembrance and recognition of human sovereignty.

Join us in this seminal project for Seed Sovereignty

Contact@newearth.university, attn: SeedBank Coord

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