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Legal Recognition of Creole Seeds, Brazil


Description

As a result of decades of farmers’ struggle in Brazil for access to land and food sovereignty, a National Policy for Agroecology and Organic Production was adopted in 2012, explicitly recognising the role of peasants’ own ‘creole’ seeds. In addition, since 2003, a national Program for Food Acquisition has given Brazilian farmers an important avenue for developing their own seed systems. Although it is not legal to sell seeds in Brazil unless they are certified, through this program the government buys creole seeds directly from farmers and then provides them to other farmers at no cost, thereby foregoing the market.

As a result, some of the country’s largest peasant organisations have been able to develop their own seed systems. In addition to promoting families’ selection and use of peasant seeds, and developing community seed houses, these organisations have also developed large-scale programmes that provide seeds to hundreds of thousands of families. In addition to the 7,000 tonnes of maize, beans and forage crop seeds produced by over 2,000 small-scale farmer members of one movement in 2013, 800 tonnes of black bean seeds were produced and sent to farmers in Venezuela. Although this has been a major advance for securing the creole seeds needed by small-scale farmers, defending these pro-peasant regulations is a constant struggle. The US government has complained, for instance, that the food acquisition program went against WTO rules because it provides a subsidy to Brazilian farmers.

Another major struggle for Brazilian farmers is against GMOs and the toxic chemicals associated with them. Brazil is the second largest producer of GMOs in the world, with over 40.3 million hectares under production in 2013. In October 2013, 5000 Brazilian farmers occupied a seed production facility belonging to Monsanto in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco. They replaced the varieties of GM-maize being grown there with creole seeds. As a result, some of the farmers have been persecuted and are now banned from Monsanto’s premises throughout Brazil. Brazilian farmers are also fighting against a current law under consideration among Brazilian lawmakers that would lift the country’s moratorium on a particular type of GMO known as ‘Terminator’.

Basic Data

NameLegal Recognition of Creole Seeds, Brazil
CountryBrazil
Accuracy of LocationLOW country/state level

Source of Conflict

Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Biopiracy and bio-prospection
Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
GMOs
Specific CommoditiesSeeds, beans and forage crops
Corn/Maize
Fruits and Vegetables

Project Details and Actors

Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2003
Company Names or State EnterprisesMonsanto Corporation (Monsanto Co) from United States of America
Relevant government actorsNational Plan on Agroecology and Organic Production
International and Financial InstitutionsWorld Trade Organisation (WTO)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersLa Via Campesina GRAIN AgriCultures Network

The Conflict and the Mobilization

Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginUNKNOWN
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationInvolvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces

Impacts

Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Genetic contamination, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures

Outcome

Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseNew legislation
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.As a result of decades of farmers’ struggle in Brazil for access to land and food sovereignty, a National Policy for Agroecology and Organic Production was adopted in 2012, explicitly recognising the role of peasants’ own ‘creole’ seeds. As a result, some of the country’s largest peasant organisations have been able to develop their own seed systems.

Sources and Materials

Legislations

Ley 9456; Reglamento Ley 9456

National Plan on Agroecology and Organic Production

Ley 9456; Reglamento Ley 9456
http://www.google.es/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CEAQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ipc-undp.org%2Fpub%2FIPCOnePager246.pdf&ei=1IzTVIW8J4nnUtHxg4AN&usg=AFQjCNH4Q_GzWW_NoKr3HJ8gE9-_JkNCUg&sig2=rib63H3mWF0gh6no-2MQSw&bvm=bv.85142067,d.d24

References

La Via Campesina:

Our Seeds, Our Future
http://viacampesina.org/downloads/pdf/en/xEN-notebook6.pdf

Other Documents

Farming Source: http://www.waronwant.org/component/content/article/16781
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/farm_in_brazil.jpg

Meta Information

ContributorEJOLT Team
Last update12/02/2015

Images

 

Farming

Source: http://www.waronwant.org/component/content/article/16781