South Africa’s new seed and PVP Acts undermine farmers’ rights and entrench corporate capture, control and domination

Press release

Press Release from the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB)

23 April 2019, Johannesburg, South Africa


The highly problematic new Plant Improvement Act 2018 (PIA) and Plant Breeder’s Rights Act 2018 (PBR), approved by Parliament last year, have been signed into law this March by the President, replacing the 1976 versions. Regulations are currently being drafted to bring these Acts fully into effect. The framing and scope of these Acts form part of the architecture that reinforces historically unequal seed, agricultural and food systems, and strengthens the power of large-scale commercial breeders. Thus, we have called for specific exemptions to protect and support the rights of smallholder farmers and their farming systems.

Objection against general release of three 2,4-D GM maize varieties

Press release


Objection against general release of three 2,4-D GM maize varieties:

1. Corteva’s 2,4-D herbicide tolerant maize: DAS-40278-9

2. Corteva’s Stacked 2,4-D and glyphosate herbicide tolerant maize: NK603 x DAS-40278-9

3. Corteva’s Stacked 2,4-D, glyphosate and glufosinate herbicide tolerant, and Bt insecticidal maize: MON89034 x TC1507 x NK603 x DAS-40278-9


PRESS RELEASE: East African Farmer & Civil Society Organisations Criticise EAC Seed Bill – demand transparency, participation and inclusion of farmers’ rights

Press release

Arusha, Tanzania, 11th March 2019

We, East African farmer and civil society organisations, met in Arusha on 5th – 6th March 2019, to deliberate on the East African Community (EAC) Seed and Plant Varieties Bill 2018 and its implications for smallholder farmers and their seed systems. The rationale given for the Bill is that this will create a conducive environment for improving regional availability of seed and planting materials. However, we are convinced that this proposed law will displace local seed systems, further entrench inequalities and corporate capture of food and seed systems, and marginalise the rural poor, especially women. We therefore demand that policymakers ensure transparency, public consultation and the inclusion of farmers’ rights to save, reuse, share, exchange and sell all seed in their seed and farming systems.