Blog

The blog is a place where GRAIN staff and others post their comments, suggestions, hints and assessments of documents, places or events. Or just share information that we think is interesting.

Ethiopia gets its teff back

Ethiopia is celebrating a major victory in a long-running dispute over who owns the patent for products made from teff - an ancient grain that forms the basis of Ethiopia's staple food, injera. The country has been in a legal tussle with a Dutchman owning a patent on the production of Teff flour. Teff, famed for yielding white flour of good quality is used in injera and other traditional Ethiopian food.

Ethiopia is celebrating a major victory in a long-running dispute over who owns the patent for products made from teff - an ancient grain that forms the basis of Ethiopia's staple food, injera. The country has been in a legal tussle with a Dutchman owning a patent on the production of Teff flour. Teff, famed for yielding white flour of good quality is used in injera and other traditional Ethiopian food.

Industrial agriculture and climate chaos

The Climate Collective produced a great 20 page booklet called "Industrial agriculture and the climate chaos" Rich with data and illustrations, it is a good tool to use in awareness raising and capacity building activities. It can be downloaded here You can find English, German and Danish versions on the "Free the Soil" website  

The Climate Collective produced a great 20 page booklet called "Industrial agriculture and the climate chaos" Rich with data and illustrations, it is a good tool to use in awareness raising and capacity building activities. It can be downloaded here You can find English, German and Danish versions on the "Free the Soil" website  

Civil society groups welcome decision of development bank complaints panel to proceed with complaint from DR Congo communities against palm oil company

The panel of the complaints mechanism for the German, Dutch and French development banks has ruled that a complaint submitted on 5 November 2018 by nine communities in the DR Congo is admissible. This means that the complaints mechanism will now begin a preliminary review process before initiating the mediation process requested by the communities to resolve their long-standing land conflict with Plantations et Huileries du Congo (PHC), a subsidiary of Canadian company, Feronia Inc.

The panel of the complaints mechanism for the German, Dutch and French development banks has ruled that a complaint submitted on 5 November 2018 by nine communities in the DR Congo is admissible. This means that the complaints mechanism will now begin a preliminary review process before initiating the mediation process requested by the communities to resolve their long-standing land conflict with Plantations et Huileries du Congo (PHC), a subsidiary of Canadian company, Feronia Inc.

Camila retires from GRAIN

It is with a tinge of sadness but a huge amount of love and appreciation that we announce that Camila Montecinos will retire from GRAIN as of 31 December 2018.

It is with a tinge of sadness but a huge amount of love and appreciation that we announce that Camila Montecinos will retire from GRAIN as of 31 December 2018.

Villagers in Sierra Leone ponder their future after winning their lands back from a palm oil company

Villagers in Port Loko District, Sierra Leone are celebrating. After nearly a decade of struggling against a company that grabbed their lands and erected oil palm plantations, a court has ruled that the lands must be given back to the communities. Now they are trying to figure out what they should do with the large areas of lands that have been occupied by rows and rows of oil palms.  

Villagers in Port Loko District, Sierra Leone are celebrating. After nearly a decade of struggling against a company that grabbed their lands and erected oil palm plantations, a court has ruled that the lands must be given back to the communities. Now they are trying to figure out what they should do with the large areas of lands that have been occupied by rows and rows of oil palms.  

Peasants rights victory in New York

Congratulations to Via Campesina and allies for the adoption of the Peasant Rights Declaration at the UN in New York!

Congratulations to Via Campesina and allies for the adoption of the Peasant Rights Declaration at the UN in New York!

GMO cotton failure in Burkina Faso: Farmers speak out

For two years, over 500 farmers from the different cotton-growing regions in Burkina Faso documented their experience with Monsanto’s Bt cotton. This three-year farmer-led research initiative, called “Bt Cotton and Us: The Truth from our Fields,” provides an important counterbalance, as Burkina Faso was the first country in West Africa to adopt genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and industry often lauds its success when promoting GMOs in other countries.   

For two years, over 500 farmers from the different cotton-growing regions in Burkina Faso documented their experience with Monsanto’s Bt cotton. This three-year farmer-led research initiative, called “Bt Cotton and Us: The Truth from our Fields,” provides an important counterbalance, as Burkina Faso was the first country in West Africa to adopt genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and industry often lauds its success when promoting GMOs in other countries.   

Only the soil can free us

Why agricultural change is political change. Take the case of farmers in Burkina Faso.  

Why agricultural change is political change. Take the case of farmers in Burkina Faso.  

Pathways out of the climate chaos

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial is feasible. And it is our best hope of achieving environmental and social justice, of containing the impacts of a global crisis that was born out of historical injustice and highly unequal responsibility. An excellent piece by Silvia Ribeiro of the ETC Group, showing why we need 'radical realism' to fight the climata crisis, not artificial and dangerous technofixes.

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial is feasible. And it is our best hope of achieving environmental and social justice, of containing the impacts of a global crisis that was born out of historical injustice and highly unequal responsibility. An excellent piece by Silvia Ribeiro of the ETC Group, showing why we need 'radical realism' to fight the climata crisis, not artificial and dangerous technofixes.

Orphans of the Land

A great documentary film about resettlement of communities in Mozambique who had to make way for the Limpopo National Park. People facing resettlement are filled with hope for a better life. Although some  families find prosperity after resettlement, as orphans of the land, villages lose autonomy to make decisions about the natural resources on which their livelihoods and social cohesion depend.  Based on four years research, this film puts names and faces to the people who are being displaced from their land to make room for a national park.

A great documentary film about resettlement of communities in Mozambique who had to make way for the Limpopo National Park. People facing resettlement are filled with hope for a better life. Although some  families find prosperity after resettlement, as orphans of the land, villages lose autonomy to make decisions about the natural resources on which their livelihoods and social cohesion depend.  Based on four years research, this film puts names and faces to the people who are being displaced from their land to make room for a national park.

Open letter - Brazilian civil society recommendations for the 14th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its protocols

We, Brazilian peasants, family farmers, indigenous peoples, traditional peoples and communities, community scientists, social and trade union movements and urban groups, aware of the themes to be discussed at COP14, hereby manifest our position.   

We, Brazilian peasants, family farmers, indigenous peoples, traditional peoples and communities, community scientists, social and trade union movements and urban groups, aware of the themes to be discussed at COP14, hereby manifest our position.   

Corporate control and food sovereignty: issues and ways forward

On 24 July 2018, Focus on the Global South, ETC Group, and the Chulalongkorn University Research Institute (CUSRI) organized a forum in Bangkok on corporate concentration in agriculture and food, and its implications on food sovereignty in South East Asia. The forum brought speakers from a number of national, regional and international organisations, and the audience of around 60 individuals comprised representatives from social movements, civil society organisations, academia, and the general public.

On 24 July 2018, Focus on the Global South, ETC Group, and the Chulalongkorn University Research Institute (CUSRI) organized a forum in Bangkok on corporate concentration in agriculture and food, and its implications on food sovereignty in South East Asia. The forum brought speakers from a number of national, regional and international organisations, and the audience of around 60 individuals comprised representatives from social movements, civil society organisations, academia, and the general public.

Agroecology for Africa

  A great animated video explains why agroecology is right for Africa. By AFSA

  A great animated video explains why agroecology is right for Africa. By AFSA

Seeds of resistance, harvests of hope: farmers halt a land grab in Mozambique

On July 26, 2018, farmers in Xai-Xai, Mozambique, achieved a milestone. They met to formalize their new farmers’ association, elect leaders, and prepare a petition to the local government for land. The association, christened Tsakane, which means “happy” in the local Changana language, was the culmination of six years of resistance to a Chinese land grab that had sparked protest and outrage. The association now has a request pending for its own land. An encouraging story by Timothy A. Wise

On July 26, 2018, farmers in Xai-Xai, Mozambique, achieved a milestone. They met to formalize their new farmers’ association, elect leaders, and prepare a petition to the local government for land. The association, christened Tsakane, which means “happy” in the local Changana language, was the culmination of six years of resistance to a Chinese land grab that had sparked protest and outrage. The association now has a request pending for its own land. An encouraging story by Timothy A. Wise

Civil society letter to UNCITRAL on ISDS reforms

More than 300 civil society organizations from 73 countries urge fundamental reform at UNCITRAL’s investor-state dispute settlement discussions

More than 300 civil society organizations from 73 countries urge fundamental reform at UNCITRAL’s investor-state dispute settlement discussions