Letter To Parliament By The Ghana National Association of Farmers & Fishermen (GNAFF)
Ghana is a signatory to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), which affirms that ‘the rights recognized in the Treaty to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed and other propagating material. It also requires its contracting parties to take responsibility to realize Farmers’ Rights and ‘take measures to protect and promote Farmers’ Rights’.
To implement the Plant Breeders Bill would destroy farmers rights in direct violation of the treaty.
The history of UPOV, especially UPOV 91 law is ongoing and apparently limitless expansion of seed company rights along with a concomitant shrinkage of farmers’ rights and freedoms. There will be far fewer crops and seed varieties legally available, leaving Ghana with far less agricultural diversity and far more food insecurity.
Supporters claim UPOV 91 compliant Plant Breeders Bill will bring investment and profit to Ghana. It will bring investment that will co-opt Ghana’s farmland in order to grow export crops for Europe and the US. It will release a tsunami of pesticides on Ghana, as it has done in the US, and the Latin American countries where farmers are fighting back. It will drive farmers into debt and drive rural populations off the land and into the cities. It will result in huge job loss. All the profits will go out of Ghana and into the foreign corporations.
We urge you to protect Ghana’s sovereignty and independence, protect small holder farming and farmers rights, protect jobs, and protect the rich diversity of crops we grow and the foods we love.
Vote against the Plant Breeders Bill.
Signed by the Technology and Strategy Directorate,
On Behalf of the three million seven hundred thousand strong and growing Farmers and Fisherfolk who make up our vibrant membership.
Ghana National Association of Farmers & Fishermen (GNAFF)
In support of the GNAFF case and official position regarding issues raised by the UPOV 91 compliant Plant Breeders Bill
Putting the Cartel before the Horse…and Farm, Seeds, Soil and Peasants etc: Who Will Control the Agricultural Inputs?
full PDF document at: http://www.etcgroup.org/sites/www.etcgroup.org/files/CartelBeforeHorse11Sep2013.pdf
In this Communiqué, ETC Group identifies the major corporate players that control industrial farm inputs. ETC Group aims to de-construct the myths surrounding the effectiveness of the industrial food system. In addition to data on private sector plant breeding and the commercial seed and agrochemical industries, the report includes market data for the fertilizer and animal pharmaceutical industries, as well as the highly concentrated livestock genetics industry and the fast-growing aquaculture industry. Download the pdf to read the 40-page report.
The undersigned organizations are of the view that the draft legal framework proposed, based on UPOV 1991 does not reflect the concerns and conditions of African nations. UPOV 1991 imposes a “one-size-fits-all” and an inflexible legal framework which limits the ability of countries to design national laws that suit their individual needs.
The policy acknowledges the dominance of farm-saved seeds (80% of planted seeds) in sub-Saharan Africa as well as the contribution of farm-saved seeds to genetic diversity. However, the legal framework accompanying the policy not only fails to recognize farmers’ rights as anintegral part of the innovation systems, it effectively limits and undermines farmers’ rights. The draft policy mentions that the issue of farmers’rights have been dealt with under the ITPGRFA, not recognizing that the draft legal framework is in conflict with the ITPGRFA. While thelatter (ITPGRFA) promotes the upholding of farmers rights (to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed/propagating material), the draft legal framework aims to limit and undermine those rights.
ARIPO’s plant variety protection law criminalizes farmers’ rights
A new legal framework to be adopted by the Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organization will approve the intellectual property rights of Western commercial plant breeders and fundamentally undermine the rights of African farmers.
Seed laws in Latin America: the offensive continues, so does popular resistance
The world’s agribusiness corporations are pursuing their attempts to privatize and monopolize our seeds. Behind their efforts is a clear goal: to make the age-old practice of saving and breeding seeds into a crime and gain monopoly control over seeds.
October 30, 2013 by Colin Tudge As GMOs spread – they could soon become the only options. Then all of agriculture, the key to human survival, will become the exclusive property of the few huge companies that hold the patents.
No GMO food crop has ever solved a problem that really needs solving that could not have been solved by conventional means in the same time and at less cost. There is no worldwide consensus of scientists vouching for GMO safety.
The real point behind GMOs is to achieve corporate/ big government control of all agriculture, the biggest by far of all human endeavours. And this agriculture will be geared not to general wellbeing but to the maximization of wealth.
Do African Farmers Need CAADP? Friday 12th July 2013
The Peoples’ Dialogue and the Trust for Community Outreach and Education (TCOE) have written a short booklet on the Comprehensive
Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP), the African Union’s framework for agricultural development for Africa, titled
“Do AfricanFarmers Need CAADP?”
The objective is to summarize and simplify information on CAADP so as to, collectively, create awareness and discussion among small-scale/peasant farmers and the organizations that work with them, on the potential threats and implications for our various food sovereignty campaigns, as multinationals aim to penetrate and control agricultural policies and food and other agricultural production in Africa.
The direct link to download the publication is: http://www.tcoe.org.za/downloads/general/80-tcoe-caadp.html
The Treaty aims at:
- recognizing the enormous contribution of farmers to the diversity of crops that feed the world;
- establishing a global system to provide farmers, plant breeders and scientists with access to plant genetic materials;
- ensuring that recipients share benefits they derive from the use of these genetic materials with the countries where they have been originated.
How GMOs Unleashed a Pesticide Gusher—By Tom Philpott Wed Oct. 3, 2012 2:00 AM PDT
Since 2002 an herbicide gusher has been uncorked. By 2011, farms using Roundup Ready seeds were using 24 percent more herbicide thannon-GMO farms planting the same crops, By that time, “in all three crops [corn, soy, and cotton], resistant weeds had fully kicked in,”
Farmers were responding both by ramping up use of Roundup and resorting to older, more toxic herbicides like 2,4-D