[EN FRANCAIS PLUS BAS]
ALL SEEDS ARE NOT BORN THE SAME WAY
We have :
- Farmers’ Seeds :
- adapted and multiplied by farmers in their fields
- giving birth to popular varieties (“variétés population” in French) with a lot of diversity inside the variety (“haute diversité intra-variétale”).
- Certified / Industrial Seeds :
- adapted in exeprimental stations or in laboratories by seeds professionals belonging to public or private sector
- giving birth to high efficiency varieties (“variétés à haut rendements”) : classic variety selection, F1 hybrids varieties, GMOs, etc.
INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION GROWS FASTER THAN FARMERS PRODUCTION FROM THE 1980’s.
Certified seeds only represent 32,5% of the total of seeds used in the world in 2016 (according to NGO Grain).
However the global certified seeds market represents 40.52 billion euros in 2014 (Xerfi).
Currently, there’s a huge market consolidation with 3 consortium controlling 60% of the market :
- Bayer (DE) & Monsanto (US) merged on May 2016
- Dupont (US) & Dow (US) merged on March 2017
- ChemChina (CHN) & Syngenta (CH) merged on April 2017
The certified seeds market faces the farm-saved seeds competition (adapted by farmers from certified seeds) and the farmers’ seeds competition (born from the farmers adaptation work).
To be competitive against this, industrials have two instruments :
- Legal tools : plant variety rights (in French it’s COV : Certificat d’Obtention Végétale), patents, sanitary rules, environmental rules and biosecurity rules.
- Biological blockages : Hybrid F1 production (high efficiency the first year, then the efficiency is decreasing with years which force farmers to buy new seeds every year instead of replant them).
THERE ARE THREE KEY ISSUES REGARDING ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT & HEALTH
What happens : the seed industry forces certified seeds to be distinct, uniform and stable (DHS in French : Distinctes, Homogènes et Stables) and to prove high agronomic advances.
Which means :
- ENVIRONNEMENT :
- thousands of seeds are not cultivated anymore, we are facing a huge biodiversity loss, especially regarding the seeds adapted to terroirs ;
- certified seeds do not match with less intensive production needs, which is not encouraging the development of organic production.
- ECONOMY :
- can we patent the living ? Seeds are they a common good ?
- Royalties costs are more and more high, in 2011 there were representing 31% of the seed total cost. In the US, the seeds cost for farmers has been multiplied by 4 from 1996.
What happens : industrials sell high efficiency seeds to farmers, so farmers go into debt to buy them and have to rebuy them every year because of decreasing efficiency as explained above.
Which means :
- ECONOMY :
- farmers lose autonomy, know-how in seeds reproducing, and so farms are less resilient ;
- farmers depend on seeds price changes on international markets. If the seed price increases sharply, farmers cannot reimburse their loans ;
- seeds industries open new markets in developing countries arguing that they bring food security, whereas in reality they are preventing the country to develop food sovereignty.
What happens : industrials sell high efficiency seeds to farmers, but to make them grow, they have to buy fertilizers and crop protection products (pesticides).
Which means :
- ENVIRONMENT :
- soils are degraded, flora and fauna around are affected as well as watercourses.
- HEALTH :
- mortality rate among farmers is increasing because of the use of pesticides in their daily job ;
- we can find these chemicals in our food which is affecting the taste, the quality and the nutritional efficiency of it, on top of affecting our health.
SO, WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT ?
You are eating every day ? You can do something about it !
To know what you can do, follow this link : https://seedtour.org/about/
You’re not ready to act and want more information about the topic ?
- [FR] La Guerre des Graines, Production OnYVaMédia – LaTéléLibre.fr
- [FR] Graines de rebelles, 13h15 les Français
- [EN] Share the Seed, Jennifer Kendzior
- [FR] Le Monde selon Monsanto, Marie-Monique Robin
- [FR] “Vandana Shiva, pour une désobéissance créatrice”, Lionel Astruc
- [FR] “Semences paysannes, Plantes de demain” Robert Ali Brac de la Perrière
[EN FRANCAIS C’EST BIEN LA]