Permablitz Hi

Hawaii's Edible Revolution

2015 Community Seed & Plant Exchange @ Kahumana Farm Festival

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The ancient practices of seed saving and sharing are currently under threat.

In the first half of the 20th century, seeds were overwhelmingly in the hands of farmers and public-sector plant breeders. In the decades since then, Gene Giants have used intellectual property laws to commodify the world seed supply – a strategy that aims to control plant germplasm and maximize profits by eliminating Farmers’ Rights.

 Today, the proprietary seed market accounts for a staggering share of the world’s commercial seed supply. In less than three decades, a handful of multinational corporations have engineered a fast and furious corporate enclosure of the first link in the food chain. 

– “Who Owns Nature?”, 2008 report by ETC Group –

MAY 16, 2015

MAY 16, 2015

From almost a thousand biotech startups 15 years ago, ten companies now have three quarters of industry revenue. And, six of the leaders in seeds are also six of the leaders in pesticides and biotech. Over the past three decades, a handful of companies has gained control of that one quarter of the world’s annual biomass (crops, livestock, fisheries, etc.) that has been integrated into the world market economy.[1]

The genetic make-up of most corn grown in the United States, and in many other places around the world, can be traced back to Hawaii. The isolation of our island state is so critical to the nation’s modern corn-growing business that the biotech industry’s leading companies all have farms here, growing new varieties genetically engineered for desirable traits like insect, drought and pesticide resistance. [2]

Biotech’s most lucrative technical achievement is the engineering of crops to withstand a shower of chemical weed killers. Today, over 80% of the worldwide area devoted to genetically engineered crops carries at least one genetic trait for herbicide tolerance.[3]

To support corporations, some states have made it illegal for everyone else to save and share patented seeds.

The ancient practices of seed saving and sharing are currently under threat. Plants carefully cultivated by farmers the world over for millennia – skills and knowledge that belong to no one and everyone – are being claimed as “inventions” and patented by corporations with the support of national states and international bodies, such as the World Trade Organization. [4]

Save & share seeds

Communities that save & share seeds together, thrive & grow strong together.

Solution: Save and share our seeds.

We believe that seeds must remain part of the global commons, and that the simple & peaceful acts of saving & sharing seeds from our own gardens and farms is one of the most powerful & revolutionary acts that individuals & communities can take to reclaim our seed sovereignty.

Conservation of our agricultural diversity is not possible without the participation of the communities who have evolved and protected the plants and animals that form the basis of sustainable agriculture.[5]

Saving and sharing seeds is crucial to our freedom, autonomy from capitalism, and crucial for our survival. Within each seed lays a storehouse of knowledge, recalling the kind of soil in which it was grown, the amount of sun, rain and nutrients that it requires, when to sprout and when to bear fruit.

The 3rd Annual Community Seed & Plant Exchange event at the Kahumana Farm Festival will engage over 1,200 people with the opportunity to exchange seeds and plants saved from their own backyards. Beginning and advanced workshops on seed-saving will be held throughout the day, as well educational talks about the importance of saving seeds and plants.

The community of Waianae is a peri-urban community with one of the highest populations of Native Hawaiians in the world and one of the most economically challenged communities in the state of Hawaii. This community is among the most vulnerable to food insecurity as a result of an increasingly industrialized global food supply chain, but is also home to a blossoming renaissance of food justice organizations such as MA`O Farms, Kahumana Organic Farm, Hoa`aina, Ka`ala Farm, and others.

Creating community spaces to exchange plants & seeds also creates a space to exchange and cultivate localized knowledge of plant varieties, growing techniques, cultural knowledge, and much more. The annual Community Seed & Plant Exchange works to grow our community’s capacity to provide for its own needs and reclaim its food sovereignty.

We look forward to seeing you there!

______________________________________________________________

[1] http://www.etcgroup.org/content/who-owns-nature

[2]http://huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/21/hawaii-gmo-flash-point_n_5187599.html

[3] http://www.gmwatch.org/gm-firms/10558-the-worlds-top-ten-seed-companies-who-owns-nature

[4] http://nomoola.com/saveseeds/index.html – .VRxrIkubOYk

[5] http://navdanya.org/earth-democracy/seed-sovereignty

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