Save our seeds from corporate control
Seeds are a farmer’s most essential input. For thousands of years farm communities have been observing, selecting, nurturing, breeding and saving seeds. et, in the last century there has been a dramatic decrease in global seed diversity, of which the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) reported in 2010 that 75 percent of the world’s crop diversity had already been lost.
The erosion of agricultural biodiversity can be largely attributed to the agro-industry business and the policies that support them. Farmers now purchase many of the essential inputs of farming, whereas in yesteryears the inputs were produced and recycled within the farm. The corporate control over seeds is very worrying because it threatens to hold farming hostage to big business interests.
According to La Via Campesina, the International Peasants Movement, and GRAIN, an NGO working on seed issues, just 10 companies account for 55 percent of the global seed market. Among them are Monsanto, Dow, Dupont and Syngenta.
SM MOHAMED IDRIS is president, Consumers Association of Penang (CAP)