At a time when seed markets are dominated by large corporations, it is essential to focus on local, peasant, seed production. This is why ABL-J held a seed caravan from June 3rd till June 12th.
At a time when seed markets are dominated by large corporations, it is essential to focus on local, peasant, seed production. In the seeds sector hybrids are becoming the norm and we face an increased effort to declare genetically modified plants as safe, or to give the impression that we are not talking about genetic engineering at all (“new breeding techniques”). Against these developments we must find options to maintain and increase a peasant seed supply which is locally adapted. The required varieties for certain farm locations are no longer made by the breeding sector or, are not permitted for sale. This is also due to a seeds legislation which contributes to the restriction of available seeds on the market. Idea of the Caravan From Junge AbL’s (ECVC Youth member organization from Germany) point of view it is essential that farmers can work and act independently, be able to decide autonomously and according to environmental conditions and thus guarantee a sustainable cultivation of their produce. The right to seeds is a basic prerequisite to achieve this, especially for the implementation of food sovereignty and the preservation of crop diversity. The idea of the caravan was to be in a direct exchange with farmers who actively engage in seeds work. To do so, we did not want to sit in a lecture hall and listen passively, but to actively visit farms of members of ECVC, in Southern Germany, Switzerland and France, that work with seeds in their everyday farm work. Together we closely looked into topics such as seeds reproduction, breeding, exchange and storage. The focus of our tour was on crop seeds. Procedure of our Tour There was a seminar ahead of our journey where we went into details regarding the political background and current legal framework for seeds in Europe. Furthermore, we received training on the documentation and organization of the caravan. There is a blog on our homepage where we share our experiences during our tour (in German, http://junge-abl.de/en/aktuelles). After the seminar we visited farms from the 6th to the 12th of June. Our Objectives Our intention was to see and understand the peasants' seeds work, shed light on and question the legal framework, and to document our experiences and spread the word after our journey via events and publications. Most members of Junge AbL also want to work and live on a farm later on. Therefore we also gained experience for our own agricultural work. The people we met and the work on seeds we saw at the farms were all amazing. The work on cereal seeds showed us that farmers have the power to be self-sufficient with seeds, if the farmers and peasants´ community stands and works together. The cereal fields and the products of the harvest, often processed on the farm, were a fantastic example that peasants´ seeds are more vital than industrial seeds - and more better, healthier, eco friendly. For the future, we want peasants in Europe to increase networking among themselves, to share and develop seeds, and the necessary tools and knowledge. Globalize the Struggle! Globalize the Hope!
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