Global Action to Adopt a Seed: Explainer

It is impossible to think about agriculture without seeds, varieties and cuttings. And it is hard to think about peasant agriculture without access to and control of these essential elements, as whoever controls the seeds decides who will plant them and what will be planted.

We know that peasant seeds are a heritage of the people for the good of humanity and that they mean autonomy, collective care culture and Food Sovereignty for those living in rural and urban areas.

Agribusinesses and capitalism are only interested in earning a profit. That is why La Via Campesina reaffirms the commitment to defend, rescue, improve, multiply and preserve peasant seeds, cuttings and varieties. It also struggles to expand the involvement of peasant women and men in this process and to increase the awareness of people living in the cities (the consumers).

Bearing this historical task in mind, La Via Campesina invites you all to foster the “Adopt a Seed” action, which is part of the “International campaign Seed Heritage of the People for the Good of Humanity” that has been promoted by our movement since 2001.

“Adopt a Seed” is a life action embraced in the context of the VII International Conference of La Via Campesina, which took place in 2017 in the Basque country. Its aim is that every organization or family is able to guard, multiply and reproduce the seeds to guarantee the diversity, history, present and future, and to encourage a collective life that recovers and adds value to our peasant identity.

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What are peasant seeds?

Seeds are not just grains, they are also the plants, animals, flowers, trees, fruits, herbs, medicinal plants and many other varieties preserved and selected throughout history by peasant women and men, as well as native peoples. These seeds are part of the origin of agriculture and the lives of the families that live and work in the country, but they also guarantee healthy food free of agrochemicals for the peasant women and men, and the consumers that live in the cities.

As they keep inside the natural richness of our lands, seeds should be preserved and multiplied.

How can you become part of this action?

Our strategy is that every peasant, peasant family or community commits to adopt a new variety of seed, whether vegetable or animal. This should be a seed each family is very interested in due to their identity or land, and that reaffirms their peasant way of life. The family has to become a guardian of this seed and guarantee its multiplication. After adopting it, the family will have to organize the reproduction and distribution of that plant or animal seed. The goal is to create a huge network of peasant seeds, to recover those which are scarce and to increase the production to achieve the Food Sovereignty of the Peoples.

As a result of this action, there will be thousands of peasant families strengthening biodiversity, recovering varieties and guaranteeing Food Sovereignty as well as the productive capacity. This is a direct action to prevent transnational companies from getting hold of the seeds and reducing our autonomy and biodiversity. Without peasant seeds, peasant agriculture becomes a hostage of transnational companies.

There is no limit of time to become part of this action. You can start implementing it in your community and invite more people to join you! The most important part is to take the first step! We want to create a huge network of seeds and get to know your community and the new variety:

The advantages of peasant seeds

A peasant seed, whether vegetable or animal, has an incalculable value. It means autonomy to acquire inputs and make decisions because if we have the seeds we can decide when and how to plant them.
Seeds are key for the continuity of peasant agriculture and for the production of healthy food for workers and consumers.

We will only achieve Food Sovereignty if seeds are protected by the peasantry, the communities and the peoples.

Extending this action means guaranteeing access to quality food in rural and urban areas!