Agroecology alliance fears proposed seed bill will grant multinationals control, market benefits


The Zambia Alliance for Agroecology and Biodiversity (ZAAB) has alleged that the proposed new Plant Breeders Rights (PBR) Bill will only benefit multinational seed companies whose sole motive was to control and own the country and Africa’s seed sector.

ZAAB alleged that the Bill availed to Zambian stakeholders on April 15, 2024 for consultations aimed at explicitly providing increased control and market benefits to multinational seed companies.

This is according to the ZAAB Board Chairperson, Vladimir Chilinya, who spoke when he addressed journalists in Lusaka on Friday.

“The Bill has not been initiated on national interest but by multinational seed companies with the backing of their governments whose sole motive is control and owning Zambia and Africa’s seed sector.

“The new Bill aims at facilitating Zambia’s membership to a an international union that discriminates against small scale farmers, targeting them unnecessarily with substantial fees and policing mechanisms and criminalising farmer’s rights to save, share and re-use seeds,” Chilinya said.

He feared that the new Bill would instead further increase corporate control and concentration in Zambia’s seed and food systems which would disadvantage the country’s local seed industry and local adaptation needs.

“Farmer management seed systems are a critical source of affordable seeds hence, restricting such systems pose a significant threat to food and nutrition security. The new proposed Bill in its entirety is inappropriate for Zambia and must be rejected,” Chilinya said.

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