Fresh Plaza News

18 January 2018 – Opening of apple season in Eastern Free State, South Africa.Read more…


SABI Training Brochure

17 January 2018 – SABI IrrigationWise Academy offers a range of training programmes to boost
optimum irrigation practices and water conservation in South Africa and the
continent. The Academy’s focus is on boosting technical and engineering skills in
both the agricultural and landscape sectors at all levels of operation. The Academy’s
programme are in-line with the objectives of SABI, the recognised representative
organisation of the irrigation industry in South Africa. Read more…


Urban Farming Is the Future of Agriculture

17 January 2018 – The planet is growing more food than ever, and yet millions of people continue to starve worldwide. People are hungry everywhere — in the country, in the suburbs. But increasingly, one of the front lines in the war against hunger is in cities. Read more…


Five wine trends to watch for in 2018

16 January 2018 – The South African wine industry is experiencing one of its most exciting phases in history. Overall wine quality has increased dramatically over the last five years, international recognition is at an all-time high and the consumer is now spoilt for choice, with a wealth of new producers, varieties and styles. Read more…


Five major trends in South Africa’s agro-food system

16 January 2018 – Agro-food systems often differ considerably from country to country, depending on the level of development, resource availability, business sophistication and agro-food policies and legislation adopted. Even within countries, huge inequality in development and demographic dynamics will necessitate the development of a diverse agro-food system, as we have in South Africa. Read more…


Precision farming the solution to optimising the red meat industry

16 January 2018 – The red meat industry is complex due to various factors that have a significant influence on its productivity, profitability, and sustainability. Nature’s influence on production and the variation in in-and-output prices is a big challenge. Read more…


African Centre for Biodiversity News

15 January 2018 – Status report on the SADC, COMESA and EAC harmonised seed trade regulations. To start this new year, The Status Report on the SADC, COMESA and EAC harmonised seed trade regulations: Where does this leave the regions’ smallholder farmers?, researched and written by Linzi Lewis and Sabrina Masinjila of the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), provides a brief background and status update on efforts by regional economic communities to harmonise seed trade and marketing policy and legislation in East and Southern Africa. This paper focuses on the Technical Agreements on Harmonisation of Seed Regulations of the Southern African Development Community (SADC, 2008), the Seed Trade Harmonisation Regulations of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA, 2014), and the regional seed harmonisation programme of the East African Community (EAC).

The skewed nature of these harmonisation efforts, which focus solely on the formal seed sector, has continued to neglect and obstruct participation by African civil society groups in the development of such regulations. This has prevented meaningful involvement by civil society and smallholder farmers in decision-making processes on issues that directly affect their livelihoods, seed and food systems.

This paper offers a critique of these frameworks which firmly embed green revolution approaches in Africa, favoring large scale agribusiness as the solution to seed insecurity in Africa. This approach will have drastic implications for smallholder farmers and their seed systems, who provide the most sustainable supply of seed in the region.  Long-term solutions require comprehensive and appropriate national and regional seed policies that guarantee the rights of farmers, and particularly women farmers, supporting smallholder seed production and supply, and protect agricultural biodiversity.

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Kind regards

ACB team