Managing seed on the web

The ambition of the CoEx1 project is to improve our understanding of the gap between (1) seed policies and laws and (2) farmers’ seed management practices. Such a gap is detrimental to the access and mobilization of a wide variety of seeds by farmers.

Intrigued? Speak French? There’s a webinar on the project today.

  1. Gouvernance adaptative des stratégies de gestion de la diversité cultivée []

Feed on a better food system

I missed WWF’s report Bending the Curve: The Restorative Power of Planet-Based Diets when it came out in October last year, but the interview with one of the authors, Brent Loken, on the Feed podcast was an excellent way to catch up.

Well worth listening to the whole thing, and indeed reading the report. I really like it when complexity and nuance are embraced, and silver bullets eschewed. Here’s a few take-aways to whet your, ahem, appetite:

  • Shift diets: it’s not that hard. Start by de-centering beef.
  • Reform national dietary guidelines.
  • Regulate marketing food to kids.
  • And, speaking of marketing, learn how to make healthy food sexier.
  • Cut waste.

Brainfood: Filbert genome, Weed evaluation, Cocoa bugs, Grass genes, Perennial ag, Forage quality, Forest gardens, Protected areas, Anthropocene, Pollinators, Neolithic burials, House mice

How to do Farmers’ Rights

Are you interested in Farmers’ Rights? If so, the Plant Treaty has an inventory for you.

The Inventory of national measures that may be adopted, best practices and lessons learned from the realization of Farmers’ Rights, as set out in Article 9 of the International Treaty (the Inventory), was developed by the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Farmers’ Rights, based on the mandate it received from the Governing Body at its Seventh Session.

In preparation for the Inventory, the Governing Body invited Contracting Parties and relevant stakeholders, especially farmers’ organizations, to submit views, experiences and best practices as examples for the national implementation of Article 9 of the International Treaty. The Inventory thus relies on the submissions received from the Contracting Parties and stakeholders. The focus is on measures and practices that have been or are in the process of being implemented.

LATER: It occurs to me not all readers might know what Farmers’ Rights are. It’s remarkably difficult to get a definition, but maybe this comes closest:

Farmers’ Rights consist of the customary rights of farmers to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed and propagating material, their rights to be recognized, rewarded and supported for their contribution to the global pool of genetic resources as well as to the development of commercial varieties of plants, and to participate in decision making on issues related to crop genetic resources.

Farmers’ Rights are addressed in the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, but are not defined there.

Is Big Agriculture Best?

Jeremy’s latest newsletter out, and he has a challenge for you.

Bursting my own self-reinforcing bubble, as, in fact, I often do, I forced myself to read this fascinating article in Foreign Policy. If only they had phrased the headline as a question – Is Big Agriculture Best? – it would have met my expectations even more perfectly. Let’s just say that I disagree, but not entirely.

My biggest problem with the piece is what it omits on the negative side, and those are well-enough known that in all honesty I cannot be bothered to go through with a point by point rebuttal. And yet, there is precisely one conclusion in the piece with which I wholeheartedly agree.

See if you can find it. Answers by email, please. No prizes though.