Jeffrey Gogo’s latest piece in The Herald outlines how the Plan for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA) “aims to ‘catalogue, protect and promote’ cultivated indigenous crops as well as wild plants and fruits” in Zimbababwe.
The National Strategy and Action Plan for Plant Genetic Resources For Food and Agriculture is based on protection of farmers’ rights…“This (national strategic and action plan) will create an enabling legal and institutional environment that promotes research and capacity development for conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in Zimbabwe,” Mudzindiko told The Herald Business.
Through Zimbabwe’s National Strategy and Action Plan on Plant Genetic Resources, however, corporate monopoly might find it difficult to steamroll smallholder farmers’ seed rights.
That’s because the plan considers farmer seed independence as crucial to avoiding food losses that are linked to climate change.
By breeding their own seed, farmers are able to create varieties that are suitable for their specific regions and climates, helping them cope better with the increasing shifts, say scientists.
“Climate change is one of the reasons why as a nation we are now seeking to promote these traditional/ indigenous varieties,” Mudzindiko opined.
I will forever be grateful that I was introduced to the utility and beauty of hand crafted products early in life - from the symbolic motifs sewn into the coarse linen fabric of Croatian traditional wear to the colorful Kilim carpets that decorated the parquet floors in my grandmother's living room.
I treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," the smell of the flower stalls in the open air market where my grandmother bought produce early every morning for the day’s meals and the summers spent at my great grandmother's where the village wags would come to gossip over thick, black Turkish coffee in her cool stone kitchen.
Someone noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world - one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.