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.

Thai farmers and civic groups protest UPOV lobby

A group of farmers gather at the Department of Agriculture (DOA) in Bang Khen district yesterday to voice their opposition to the planned ratification of the 1991 International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). The farmers submitted a protest letter to Martin Ekvad, the UPOV executive who briefed DOA officials about the convention.   

A group of farmers gather at the Department of Agriculture (DOA) in Bang Khen district yesterday to voice their opposition to the planned ratification of the 1991 International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). The farmers submitted a protest letter to Martin Ekvad, the UPOV executive who briefed DOA officials about the convention.   

Africa's unfair battle (part 6): 'The entire food aid system is perverted'

Industrialised nations spend billions to subsidise their high-tech farming industries. Surplus crops often end up being sold at rock-bottom prices in the markets of developing countries, making it impossible for local farmers to sell their products. Even the American food aid being sent to famine-plagued regions creates more suffering than it alleviates, because many governments prefer to wait for handouts than buy up their farmers' harvests. The lack of options is forcing thousands of Africans to risk the life-threatening journey to Europe.

Industrialised nations spend billions to subsidise their high-tech farming industries. Surplus crops often end up being sold at rock-bottom prices in the markets of developing countries, making it impossible for local farmers to sell their products. Even the American food aid being sent to famine-plagued regions creates more suffering than it alleviates, because many governments prefer to wait for handouts than buy up their farmers' harvests. The lack of options is forcing thousands of Africans to risk the life-threatening journey to Europe.

ARIPO’S plant variety protection law criminalises farmers and undermines seed systems in Africa

The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa is gravely concerned about a draft law developed under the auspices of the Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO), dealing with a harmonised regional legal framework for the protection of plant breeders’ rights, titled ‘Draft Regional Policy and Legal Framework for Plant Variety Protection’.   ARIPO is in the process of seeking the approval of its Member States to adopt the legal framework, possibly at the next ARIPO Administrative Council and Council of Ministers meeting due to take place 25–29 November 2013 in Kampala, Uganda.

The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa is gravely concerned about a draft law developed under the auspices of the Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO), dealing with a harmonised regional legal framework for the protection of plant breeders’ rights, titled ‘Draft Regional Policy and Legal Framework for Plant Variety Protection’.   ARIPO is in the process of seeking the approval of its Member States to adopt the legal framework, possibly at the next ARIPO Administrative Council and Council of Ministers meeting due to take place 25–29 November 2013 in Kampala, Uganda.

Mozambique: Nampula civil society reaffirms call to halt ProSavana

Civil society organisations in Nampula do not recognise ProSavana as a programme that will protect the interests of small-scale farmers, who see their life steadily deteriorating.

Civil society organisations in Nampula do not recognise ProSavana as a programme that will protect the interests of small-scale farmers, who see their life steadily deteriorating.

Monsanto Suspends Construction in Córdoba Due to Protests

Monsanto has been forced to put construction of its plant in Malvinas Argentinas, Córdoba, on hold as protesters blockade an access road, citing concerns over the health risks and contamination from the plant’s activity.

Monsanto has been forced to put construction of its plant in Malvinas Argentinas, Córdoba, on hold as protesters blockade an access road, citing concerns over the health risks and contamination from the plant’s activity.

COMESA approval of seed trade regulations spells disaster for small farmers and food sovereignty in Africa

The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa strongly condemns the approval of draft Seed Trade Harmonization Regulations by COMESA's Council of Ministers in September which will only facilitate agricultural transformation in member states towards industrialization of farming systems based on the logic of the controversial, failed and hopelessly doomed Green Revolution model of agriculture.

The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa strongly condemns the approval of draft Seed Trade Harmonization Regulations by COMESA's Council of Ministers in September which will only facilitate agricultural transformation in member states towards industrialization of farming systems based on the logic of the controversial, failed and hopelessly doomed Green Revolution model of agriculture.

Nyéléni 15: Smallholder agri-investments

In October the World Committee on Food Security (CFS) will meet to discuss principles for ‘Responsible investments in agriculture’. We must shout out the message that not all investment is the same. And ask important questions - Investment in what type of agriculture? By whom? For whose benefit?

In October the World Committee on Food Security (CFS) will meet to discuss principles for ‘Responsible investments in agriculture’. We must shout out the message that not all investment is the same. And ask important questions - Investment in what type of agriculture? By whom? For whose benefit?

Message to Brazilian agribusiness congressmen

The National Congress of Brazil will soon be deciding on a proposed constitutional amendment that would give the Congress exclusive authority to decide where the boundaries of all indigenous lands lie, including any lands previously demarcated and ratified by the Executive Branch of the government. Worried about the future of his people, a Guarani man called Pedro Vicente Karai Miri recorded this message to the congressmen.

The National Congress of Brazil will soon be deciding on a proposed constitutional amendment that would give the Congress exclusive authority to decide where the boundaries of all indigenous lands lie, including any lands previously demarcated and ratified by the Executive Branch of the government. Worried about the future of his people, a Guarani man called Pedro Vicente Karai Miri recorded this message to the congressmen.

Take ‘mosaic’ approach to agriculture, boost support for small farmers, UNCTAD Report urges

Farming in rich and poor nations alike should shift from monoculture towards greater varieties of crops, reduced use of fertilizers and other inputs, greater support for small-scale farmers, and more locally focused production and consumption of food, a new UNCTAD report recommends.

Farming in rich and poor nations alike should shift from monoculture towards greater varieties of crops, reduced use of fertilizers and other inputs, greater support for small-scale farmers, and more locally focused production and consumption of food, a new UNCTAD report recommends.

Factory Food From Above: Satellite Images of Industrial Farms

Seen from a satellite, an industrial feedlot has a sort of abstract beauty. The washes of colors, the juxtaposition of organic and rigid geometries, initially obscure the subject. Then comes the realization: That’s where our food comes from.

Seen from a satellite, an industrial feedlot has a sort of abstract beauty. The washes of colors, the juxtaposition of organic and rigid geometries, initially obscure the subject. Then comes the realization: That’s where our food comes from.

Half of China's antibiotics now go to livestock

Tom Philpott explains how China's booming use of antibiotics in meat production stems from its following of a model of industrial livestock farming developed by US corporations.

Tom Philpott explains how China's booming use of antibiotics in meat production stems from its following of a model of industrial livestock farming developed by US corporations.

Why unions need to join the climate fight

Naomi Klein, addressing the founding convention of a new Canadian workers union, arguing that the fight against the climate crisis should be at the centre of their struggle. Radical, refreshing and cutting through myths and stereotypes.

Naomi Klein, addressing the founding convention of a new Canadian workers union, arguing that the fight against the climate crisis should be at the centre of their struggle. Radical, refreshing and cutting through myths and stereotypes.

Our seed, our sovereignty - seed law victory in Indonesia

Since 2005, 14 farmer breeders in East Java have been prosecuted for "stealing seed" from corporations. But a judicial review by Indonesia's constitutional court has just found key parts of the law used to go after the farmers are unconstitutional.

Since 2005, 14 farmer breeders in East Java have been prosecuted for "stealing seed" from corporations. But a judicial review by Indonesia's constitutional court has just found key parts of the law used to go after the farmers are unconstitutional.

Africa’s food sovereignty under attack by corporate Interests

Africa’s diversity and knowledge systems are being threatened by corporate and genetically modified (GM) seeds, agro-chemicals, resource grabs and laws that prevent farmers from freely using, sharing or selling their seed.

Africa’s diversity and knowledge systems are being threatened by corporate and genetically modified (GM) seeds, agro-chemicals, resource grabs and laws that prevent farmers from freely using, sharing or selling their seed.

Our coming food crisis

So you thought that the climate crisis will mostly affect poor farmers in the tropics? Here's a sobering account in the New York Times on what's happing to farmers in the US South West, by Gary Nabhan. Pluse a battery of sensible proposals of what could be done. Problem is that the main farmers organisations and agribusness aren't interested.

So you thought that the climate crisis will mostly affect poor farmers in the tropics? Here's a sobering account in the New York Times on what's happing to farmers in the US South West, by Gary Nabhan. Pluse a battery of sensible proposals of what could be done. Problem is that the main farmers organisations and agribusness aren't interested.