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Seeds of Freedom

By Tesfaldet Okubayes*

A land mark film by The Gaia Foundation and African Biodiversity Network, in collaboration with MELCA Ethiopia, Navdanya International and GRAIN has recently produced.

'Seeds of Freedom' charts the story of seeds from its place at the heart of traditional, diversity-rich farming systems across the world, to its transformation into a powerful commodity, used to monopolise the global food system. The film highlights the extent to which the industrial agricultural system, and Genetically Modified (GM) seeds in particular, have impacted on the enormous agro-biodiversity evolved by farmers and communities around the world, since the beginning of agriculture.

Through interviews with leading international experts such as Dr. Vandana Shiva and Henk Hobbelink and through the voices of number of African farmers, the film highlights how the loss of indigenous seeds goes hand in hand with loss of biodiversity and related knowledge; the loss of cultural traditions and practices; the loss of livelihoods; and the loss of food sovereignty. It’s time to change the story.

“We are at the a critical turning point now, as the global food sovereignty movement builds momentum to reclaim control of ecologically sane and socially just local food systems, which celebrate and enhance diversity and hence resilience. The film calls for farmers and consumers to join forces, so that we bequeath to our children a diversity rich food system which can withstand climatic and other pressures they will face.” Liz Hosken, Director of The Gaia Foundation

A film narrated by Jeremy Irons alongside speakers from indigenous farming communities, the film features global experts and activists Dr Vandana Shiva of Navdanya, Henk Hobbelink of GRAIN, Zac Goldsmith MP (UK Conservative party), Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser, Kumi Naidoo of Greenpeace International, Gathuru Mburu of the African Biodiversity Network, Liz Hosken of The Gaia Foundation and Caroline Lucas MP (UK Green party).

To watch the full 30 minutes film please play the following video from YouTube.

* Tesfaldet Okubayes work with PENHA as Research Associate. He has MA in Public Policy Analysis.