On Friday 24, a talk about the Seed Law and the privatization attempts to modify it was held at the UTT warehouse of Lisandro Olmos, Buenos Aires province. The exhibitions were in charge of Tamara Perelmuter and Marcos Filardi and producers from the UTT, members of the Agroecological Movement of La Plata, teachers and university students participated.
The Seed Law in force in Argentina dates from 1973, and regulates the production and commercialization of seeds, recognizing a particular form of intellectual property called "Breeder's Right", which allows those who develop an "improvement" on the seed collect royalties for it. The current Law can be questioned for many aspects, but it recognizes what is called “own use”, which allows producers to save and re-sow their seeds. Attempts to modify the Law gained strength in 2012, due to pressure from seed companies and pesticide producers, who seek to restrict the use of seeds themselves.
Delina Puma, a member of the UTT and the Popular and Technical Consultation, stated “It seemed important to us to give the talk aimed mainly at producers because it was announced that the seed law was going to be discussed and those who least knew about it were the producers. So the idea was to invite other organizations and all possible producers to see what it is about, because the seed law does not favor us, it is not promoted by small producers or peasants, it is promoted by companies that want to privatize our seeds and we cannot reproduce them. That is the main thing and many producers are not aware. The idea is to replicate this talk in other places to inform the producer that he is the one who is going to be most affected if this new law is approved ”.
This week will begin to discuss various bills to amend the current Seed Law in the Agriculture Commission of the Chamber of Deputies of the Nation. “It is necessary to discuss the modification of said Law, because it tends to criminalize a practice that peasants and townspeople have carried out for years and causes the loss of biodiversity and privatizes knowledge. In short, talking about seeds is talking about the origin of peoples, of life, and life cannot be patented ”, said Tamara Perelmuter in her presentation.
In turn, Marcos Filardi invited us to reflect on the practices that each producer and producer carry out in their gardens and stated that "whoever controls the seeds, controls the entire food chain." Currently there are 4 large companies that have a monopoly on the circulation of seeds worldwide. But in the territories it is the producers who resist and defend agro-ecological production and native and creole seeds. Members of the Technical and Popular Office of the UTT shared their work: “we are recovering the way of producing our grandparents, who kept their seeds and exchanged them, where there were no cured seeds or the need to apply pesticides to them. We are beginning to produce agroecological, our vegetables are healthy for those who consume them and for us, they were practices that had unfortunately been forgotten, for that reason we believe that the training and information space is very important, "said Zulma Molloja Flores.
In addition to her story, Delina Puma told “our agroecological production begins with the land, we do not own the land, we rent, we have a fight for the land, for the seeds, we make our own agro-ecological seedlings, our own fertilizers, our own bio-inputs, we market our own vegetables. We have had very good harvests and when we started there were four, five producers, we did not reach 15 hectares in production and in less than a year we exceeded 100 hectares and we continue to advance ”.
Based on the experience of the producers, it was shared that the cost of buying from large seedlings is three or four times higher than open-pollinated seeds, and that this directly impacts their income “we are freeing ourselves from a lot of chains, because in reality they sell you the technological package, and they tell you that without that you cannot produce, but we realized that yes, we can produce without another to provide you with inputs or agrochemicals or something like that ”.
Seeds are food, but they are also knowledge, culture, traditions; seeds are life, so it is essential to defend them, as Marcos Filardi said, "defending seeds is defending the exercise of our Human Rights."
The seed: in defense of our native and creole seeds
The cry of No to the New Monsanto / Bayer Seed Law in Argentina! It is not only about those who produce, but it brings together all of us, from those who inhabit the cities to those who live in the countryside; because seeds are the first link in the food chain, it is the basis of our food, if we give our seeds we give our food, our health, our food sovereignty, our present and future. For this reason, from organizations of farmers and peasants, rural workers and social organizations, a "seed" is called on the day September 5 in Congress, to say NO to Monsanto and all agribusiness corporations, to say No to the amendment of the Seed Law.
Biodiversity News Agency, August 28