Seed Guardians from four Latin American countries share their views and experiences regarding traditional seed saving, organic seed production, networking and the challenges with new laws and regulations. The situation may be difficult, but hope is rising!
In the last two decades, the consolidation of agribusiness in Latin America has pushed traditional farming to the fringes of agriculture. Genetic erosion, or the disappearance of traditional seeds, has been a direct effect of this. It is not just the seeds that disappear, but the cultural practices and food identities with them. Without the adequate seeds, real agroecology is far more difficult to implement. Even the programmes aiming to help farmers and indigenous peoples in the development of organic systems often fail to address this issue, or to understand the need to build local systems that are culturally and ecologically adequate.
The members of this panel have been working to build up and expand regenerative food systems that sprout from the management of traditional seeds. They propose a different way to address the common problems of farmers in Latin America, from the bottom up. But they have been challenged by the interests of big agribusiness and the complicity of the State, with laws and regulations that punish Agroecology and the small farmer. In this session, they will share their struggles and the strategies that have developed to transform society with the seeds in their hands.
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