SOS: Save our seeds

SOS: Save our seeds

A convention agreed by a shadowy inter-governmental group to protect commercial plant breeders and seed merchants may be foisted on Africa’s farmers, threatening their age-old practice of saving and exchanging seed.

The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (Upov, after its French title) has been around since 1961, comprising mainly rich countries working to protect the patent interests of global industrialised agriculture.

Even today, with a membership expanded to 71, only four African countries have signed up.

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