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News Link • Africa: On the Map

NAFSN Outlaws Traditional Seed Trading, Allows Monsanto To Advance Across Africa

• True Activist

In exchange for developmental assistance, the Tanzanian government has amended legislation to enforce protection of intellectual property rights and facilitate land access for commercial investors, like big agriculture companies Monsanto and Syngenta. The accordance was sparked by the formation of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NAFSN) at the 2012 G8 summit.

Unfortunately, certain stipulations of NAFSN agreements are serving to play into government corruption, disparage traditional ways of life and make it easier for big agriculture to prey on lesser developed countries. This is now the case in Tanzania, where efforts to preserve sustainable small farming and local economy are being derailed by the complicated and scary new shift.

Michael Farrelly of the Tanzanian organic farming movement (TOAM) explains,

"If you buy seeds from Syngenta or Monsanto under the new legislation, they will retain the intellectual property rights. If you save seeds from your first harvest, you can use them only on your own piece of land for non-commercial purposes. You're not allowed to share them…you cannot sell them for sure. But that's the entire foundation of the seed system in Africa".


 

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