by | 30 Oct 2004 Seedling - October 2004
by GRAIN | 28 Oct 2004 Seedling - October 2004
Intellectual property rights are now the central source of profits in the so-called "knowledge economy", making their expansion crucial for corporations investing in new technologies and new markets across the planet. But they are killing innovation, freedom and access to essential things like culture, health and education. And it's gone too far. Where there is oppression there is always resistance; people are using all kinds of creative means to organise and push back the IPR onslaught. And it's astounding to see how many people are saying “Enough!” to the excesses of IPR laws. People from different sectors are now realising that the new social spaces they are creating have a lot in common, and efforts are underway to bring the various struggles together. Read more about the potential for "convergence" between these different struggles against IPR. GRAIN aims to publish more analysis, viewpoints and strategy ideas about it in future issues of Seedling . If you have materials to contribute, proposals to share or want to get involved in any other way, please contact us.
by Lilian Joensen and Stella Semino | 26 Oct 2004 Seedling - October 2004
Soybean production in Argentina has increased from 0.01 million to more than 14 million hectares in 30 years, making it the world's third largest producer. The rise of the soybean has been accompanied by massive increases in hunger and malnutrition in a country long accustomed to producing 10 times as much food as the population required. The consequences of growing GM soya include a massive exodus from the countryside and ecological devastation. Now soya is being imposed on Argentineans as an alternative to traditional foods. Despite all indications to the contrary, the government continues to see the export of GM soya as key to servicing the country's massive debt.
by Ellen Geerlings | 24 Oct 2004 Seedling - October 2004
The Raika represent one of the largest groups of livestock herders in India. Through their innovativeness, flexibility and specialised knowledge, they have managed to thrive in a harsh, semi-desert environment. They have developed hardy livestock breeds and a complex social web that revolves around their animals. But external factors are pushing the Raika to the limits of their resourcefulness and threatening their livelihood with extinction.
by Réseau Semences Paysanne | 22 Oct 2004 Seedling - October 2004
The farmer and researcher may be lost soul mates, but reuniting them may not be an easy task. Having been compartmentalised and isolated for decades, they now speak different languages and have contrasting worldviews. But there is an urgent need to bring the farmer back into the research arena, particularly in the arena of public research, which is running the risk of subjugating itself completely to industry's agenda. Challenging though this will be, the rewards will be many for consumers, the environment and biodiversity.
by GRAIN | 20 Oct 2004 Seedling - October 2004
Ibrahim Ouédraogo is Secretary-General of INADES-Formation, which brings together the African Institute for Economic and Social Development and the African Training Centre. It is a pan-African association of national organisations with commonly held objectives, strategies and financial resources working primarily with rural communities in ten countries of West, Central and East Africa.