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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


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
Name of conflict:Dominican Republic´s farmers threatened by new seed bill
Country:Dominican Republic
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Biopiracy and bio-prospection
Specific commodities:Biological resources
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:04/04/2014
Company names or state enterprises:Fertilizantes Químicos Dominicanos (Ferquido) (FERQUIDO) from Dominican Republic
Relevant government actors:Senator Amilcar Romero
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:- National Farmers´ Articulation
- Environment Commission of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo
- Association of Agronomist Engineers
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Public campaigns
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-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Conflict outcome / response:New legislation
As of May 2015, the bill had not been passed nor withdrawn
Development of alternatives:The 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 an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The bill has not passed yet, but neither has it been withdrawn.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Ley No. 450-06 sobre Protección de los Derechos del Obtentor de Variedades Vegetales.
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

(1)GRAIN, Dominican Republic's seeds threatened by a new law
[click to view]

(2)TeleSUR, Dominican Republic: Farmers Mobilize Against National Law on Seeds
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Dominican Republic Farmer
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Carolina Modena
Last update04/08/2015
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