Mary Sikala from Zambia shares Herstory on Seeds

MS titled her story, “Background of seed”. She is a commercial farmer and uses indigenous seeds. Her story is a build up of what has been shared at the school for the past few days.

The background of seeds is hundred years old. “Seeds are a living mark and it produces life”. When the green revolution came, they saw a potential business in a seed. Policies were then created to collect all the seeds of black people, free of charge. As time passed they said, “We are collecting seeds so that we can start improving the seeds”. The green evolution collected seeds from us in the name of making it ‘disease free’. They took the seeds for free, created policies of paying loyalties because for them it was a potential market. These policies claimed that for a farmer to be a potential owner of seed, one has to pay loyalties. This is pathetic because it takes time for one to be called a seed breeder/seed owner. It also takes a lot of money (billions) for one to be called a seed breeder. The green evolution convinced the government about the use of hybrid seeds.

Malnutrition went high, whilst there was a bumper (bumper is excessive production of crops, e.g maize) in the rural areas because there was only one crop being produced. People who produced hybrid seeds also added a package of herbicides and pesticides. Hybrid seeds are not as nutritious as indigenous seeds. GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) manufacturers, tell farmers that GMO protects crops from pesticides. But the crops have army worms. The economic dimension of power does not look at the nutrition aspects, but profit. If manufacturers were looking at food security, having enough food on the table, they would not promote hybrids and pesticides. This makes citizens vulnerable. These packages are very expensive. Farmers buy these packages, take it to the market but do not make profit. The same herbicides that are promoted destroys the soil and living organism which provide fertility in the soil. The pesticides kill worms that produce fertility in the soil, grasshoppers and birds that are consumed as food.

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