SEED SOVEREIGNTY DIALOGUE OPENS IN DAR NEXT WEEK

AfricaPress-Tanzania: TANZANIA Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM) in partnership with Tanzania Alliance for Biodiversity (TABIO) are next week in Dar es Salaam organizing a public dialogue on seed sovereignty that will raise public awareness for informed decision making.

Addressing journalists in the city on Wednesday, TOAM Chief Executive Director, Bakari Mongo noted that the meeting at the University of Dar es Salaam New Library on Monday 23rd will bring together different participants, citing some as government officials, Civil Society Organization members, private sector, development partners, farmers and students from higher learning institutions among others to debate on challenges, which negate organic food production in the country.

He further said the dialogue with the theme-‘Towards Seed Sovereignty and Agrobiodiversity Conservation in Tanzania,’ will be a forum to also discuss genetically modified crops’ cultivation that has been promoted as a panacea of addressing challenges in agriculture in attempts to food security and nutrition provision in Tanzania, Africa and world at large.

“This will be a big forum opened to experts, policy makers, stakeholders and the general public, because we don’t want to misuse organic seeds whose disappearance will not be easy to replace. We don’t want to continue subjecting our farmers to be routinely purchasing seeds, which are delicate and must rely on artificial fertilizers to yield. “We want organic agriculture as a system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. “It combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved. “While there are postulated benefits of introducing and commercialization of GMOs in Tanzania, they also have their socioeconomic impacts, which majority of the public might not be aware of,” he added.

On his part, TABIO Coordinator, Abdallah Mkindi said seeds being the first link in food chain, we hence, have a responsibility to preserve them so that the coming generations will inherit them.

“The act of keeping seeds and the free exchange of seeds among farmers has been the basis of maintain biodiversity and our food sovereignty,” he added.

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