Expert activists meet in Dar to discuss seed sovereignty next week

18Nov 2020
Francis Kajubi
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Expert activists meet in Dar to discuss seed sovereignty next week

​​​​​​​IN a bid to safeguard seed sovereignty in Africa, some 300 activists from five different countries will meet in Dar es Salaam next week to discuss the subject and also agro biodiversity conservation.

TOAM CEO, Bakari Mongo.

The meeting which has been organized by University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement and Tanzania Alliance for Biodiversity, will bring together experts and activists on organic agriculture, biodiversity and climate change from Tanzania, Switzerland, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.

TOAM CEO, Bakari Mongo said participants will experts from public institutions, civil society organizations, the private sector, development partners, farmers, students from the higher learning institutions and media practitioners.

“With a theme, ‘Towards seed sovereignty and agro biodiversity conservation in Tanzania, the dialogue will shade light on the essence and impact of indigenous seeds, quality declared seeds and hybrid seeds in agriculture against seeds made from genetic modified organisms,” Mongo said.

He added, “The dialogue will in particular focus on encouraging farmers on the essence of indigenous seeds preservation.” According to him, genetically modified crops are being promoted as panacea to address challenges in agriculture that lead to food insecurity and poor nutrition in Tanzania, Africa and the world at large.

“While there are postulated benefits of introducing and commercialization of GMOs in Tanzania, there are socioeconomic impacts of their introduction of which majority of the public need to understand,” theTOAM CEO added.

On his part, TABIO Organic Agriculture Coordinator, Abdallah Ramadhani said that seeds are the origin of a food chain and it is therefore everybody’s inherent duty and responsibility to protect them and pass them to future generations to guarantee food security.

“The growing of seeds and the free exchange of seeds among farmers has been the basis to maintaining biodiversity and our food sovereignty, so, we ought to protect and conserve their future use,” Ramadhani argued.