Farmers and their Seed
Seed is the soul of agriculture; any nation’s seed system is only as strong as its seed system. Unfortunately, in the last one century in the name of technological advancement and honoring business innovations seeds have become a private property of few corporations across the world. The international agreements like WTO and UPOV endorse and are pushing nation states to grant intellectual property rights over seeds and related technologies. In addition to IPRs, acquisitions and mergers are leading to global consolidation of seed industry. Today less than 7 corporations control 71% of the global seed market.
Situation in India is not very different. Farmers are fast losing their sovereign rights over seeds and are left with residual rights which are granted under Plant Variety Protection and Farmers Rights Act.
This book by Sri. Jonnalagadda Rama Rao garu a farmer and breeder drawing from his experiences on how the changes in the last several decades have impacted the Indian farmers and presents a different philosophical view point on understanding seeds.
Sri. Rama Rao garu is an authority on Cotton Breeding in the country. I personally learned a lot about cotton and seed talking to him. His earlier publication ‘Usury and Suicides (2003) was an amazing account of how series of policy changes have led to indebted and later suicides of farmers.