Rest in peace, Dr Melaku!

by GRAIN | 1 Aug 2023
GRAIN shares the sadness of many others around the world at the loss of our friend and mentor Dr Melaku Worede. Melaku became a hero of the seeds movement back in the 1990s and 2000s. He powerfully advocated for the role of peasant farmers in managing biodiversity. He also passionately inspired scientists to respect and work with farmers in breeding and conservation activities, especially as a food sovereignty strategy for Ethiopia. He passed away this week at the age of 87.

For many years, Melaku was the director of the Ethiopian genebank. He also worked with civil society groups, fellow scientists and African leaders to safeguard the heritage of African crops – barley, coffee, teff and the like – and get the right policies in place to protect the rights and role of local communities in managing and developing their crops.

GRAIN's interview with Melaku in 2009 – available in both Engish and French – gives a sense of who he was and what drove him. We can still hear his voice behind the words!

We are truly honoured and grateful to have learned from and fought alongside Dr Melaku for many years. Our sincere condolences go out to his family, friends and colleagues across the world.

Photo courtesy of the Right Livelihood
Author: GRAIN
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