Dominican Republic´s farmers threatened by new seed bill

Dominican Republic Senator affiliated with chemical industry promotes a new seed law that touches off farmers movement


Description

In the spring of 2014, the member of the senate of the Dominican Republic Amilcar Romero introduced a new law for the marketing of seeds. Senator Romero is a businessman coming from the agro-chemical industry and vice-president of Ferquido (Dominican Chemical Fertilizers).

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Basic Data
NameDominican Republic´s farmers threatened by new seed bill
CountryDominican Republic
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Biopiracy and bio-prospection
Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
GMOs
Specific CommoditiesBiological resources
seeds
Project Details and Actors
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date04/04/2014
Company Names or State EnterprisesFertilizantes Químicos Dominicanos (Ferquido) (FERQUIDO) from Dominican Republic
Relevant government actorsSenator Amilcar Romero
Environmental justice organisations and other supporters- National Farmers´ Articulation

- Environment Commission of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo

- Association of Agronomist Engineers
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Social movements
Women
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Public campaigns
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Genetic contamination, Soil contamination, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights
Outcome
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseNew legislation
As of May 2015, the bill had not been passed nor withdrawn
Development of AlternativesThe National Farmers' Articulation submitted proposals in order to make the bill fairer to the farmers. The proposals, supported by the Environment Commission of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD), as well as the Association of Agronomist Engineers and other institutions, proposed to improve and enlarge the legal framework of the law, introducing, for instance, the concepts of “ancestral” or “peasant” seed, and vegetative material. They also corrected many dispositions of the law that were allegedly unconstitutional. The proposals are aimed at enlarging the legal framework so that farmers would not be criminalised regarding their traditional and cultural use of the seeds. (2)
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The bill has not passed yet, but neither has it been withdrawn.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Ley No. 450-06 sobre Protección de los Derechos del Obtentor de Variedades Vegetales.
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Links

(1)GRAIN, Dominican Republic's seeds threatened by a new law
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(2)TeleSUR, Dominican Republic: Farmers Mobilize Against National Law on Seeds
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Media Links

Dominican Republic Farmer
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Other Documents

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Meta Information
ContributorCarolina Modena
Last update04/08/2015
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