Safeguarding farmers’ seeds – Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Daily

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)

FARMERS in developing countries have been responsible for the creation of the global food basket. Over millennia farmers bred plants for food and agriculture. They improved them through their traditional practices. They bred out the unfavourable features and built in the more resilient traits. This was done on the basis of free use and exchange of seeds among themselves. Harvest festivals such as the Gawai in Sarawak, Sabah’s Kaamatan and Kerala’s Onam were, and are, characterised by farmers freely exchanging their most successful seeds of that season. These were created from the seeds exchanged at past annual festivals. The seed thus represents the cumulative genius of farmers over successive generations. Read more