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Call for contributions_Seed Commons_final_1

+++ Call for Short Papers: Symposium Issue on Seed Commons +++

The RightSeeds Project in collaboration with the Agriculture and Human Values Journal, invites contributions to a Symposium Issue on Seed Commons. We would be happy if you apply by submitting a short paper (6-8 pages) by email on or before June 30.

Please find a detailed description of the thematic focus of the Symposium Issue and further information on the journal and the application process in the Call for Short Papers.

Backround & Objectives

With the intensification in the agricultural sector, a commercialized, privatized and more and more monopolized system of plant breeding and seed production has developed: It focuses on a narrow spectrum of high yield varieties for the industrial agriculture and therefore contributes substantially to the worldwide loss of cultivated crop plant variety. The Commons-based variety breeding and seed production presents an approach to counteract genetical erosion of crop plant variety and thus promotes food sovereignty.

Especially in countries of the Global South, Commons-based approaches such as seed exchange systems, community seed banks and participatory plant breeding are successfully practiced. More recently, seed initiatives in the context of organic plant breeding in Germany have emerged that are starting to integrate principles of Commons in their work.

The research project´s goal is to explore the transformative potential of  Commons-based seed systems for a social-ecological plant cultivation and how this potential can be enhanced. Therefore, the functioning and context factors of actors employing this alternative approach to variety breeding and seed production are assessed both from theoretical and practical perspectives.  Moreover, promising breeding approaches, business models, communication and governance strategies are to be developed for the participating seed initiatives. Moreover, the project aims at initiating learning processes between Commons-based seed initiatives at the national and international level.

Inter- and Transdisciplinarity

Integrating perspectives from ecology, economics, political science and ethics, as well as collaborating with German and Philippine seed stakeholders, RightSeeds follows an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach. At the Carl-von-Ossietzky University Oldenburg, the philosophical and institutional economics analyses are centered: The former addresses how Commons-based seed systems enable actors to personal well-being by supporting capabilities.  The latter addresses how institutions in the multi-level governance system affect Commons-based seed and variety initiatives and how they can enlarge their scope for action. The Institute for Ecological Economics Research investigates the organizational structures of social entrepreneurs and their role for the provision of common goods. Additionally, field experiments with vegetable varieties will be carried out by the Agroecology group of the Universität Göttingen.

Central actors in the fields of organic plant breeding, seed production, distribution and marketing constitute the practical partners in the German-speaking context (Kultursaat e.V., Saat:gut e.V., Bingenheimer Saatgut AG, tegut, Bundesverband Naturkost Naturwaren). Other partners are AGRECOL e.V., an association that works at the interface between science and practice for the establishment of seeds as common goods; Arche Noah e.V, engaging for the preservation of crop diversity also on a political level, and MASIPAG in the Philippines, which is a network of 35.000 rice grower families, scientists and NGOs. The practical partners’ integration is implemented by initiating, monitoring/mentoring and South-North exchanges, regular focus groups and workshops, interviews,  as well as joint field experiments.


Photo: RightSeeds
Photo: RightSeeds

Ongoing Preparations for MASIPAG Visit 2020

With the experiences and impressions of our research trip to the Philippines in mind, we have now started planning the visit of the MASIPAG coordinators, breeders and farmers to Germany for 2020. During a one-week round trip, the German and Philippine partners, together with RightSeeds, will continue to exchange ideas on various topics related to commons-based plant breeding. More…

Photo by RightSeeds
Photo by RightSeeds

RightSeeds Workshop on the Philippines has started

On Monday 04 February 2019 the RightSeeds Workshop MASIPAG started on the Philippine island of Luzon, more precisely in Rajal Centro, Santa Rosa, Nueva Ecija. Together with the organisation MASIPAG (Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura – Farmer-Scientist Partnership for Development), it was developed by RightSeeds and brings together both German and Filipino breeders to More…

Photo by Pixabay
Photo by Pixabay

Update MASIPAG Workshop: Vegetable and onion day

The second day of the MASIPAG workshop on the Philippines took place under the motto “Vegetable and Onion Day”. In the morning the onion farm of the breeder Marcelino de la Rosa was visited. The participants were given a guided tour of the farm and visited the cultivation and breeding areas. The afternoon was focussed on the cultivation of vegetable and, more specifically, onion seed. There was More…

Photo by RightSeeds
Photo by RightSeeds

MASIPAG Workshop: Rice- and Politics Day

After the vegetable and onion day the workshop participants could explore a part of the Aurora Memorial National Park during the excursion on the 6th of February. The following day was all about rice. At the beginning the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in Munoz was visited. Afterwards there was a rice tasting in the afternoon. More…

Upcoming events

2020 | Our project partner MASIPAG will visit breeders, seed companies and seed initiatives in Germany.

Past events

22.-23.1.2019two-day workshop by SEARICE in Quezon, Philippines: Taking a Stand for the Future of Seeds, Food and Agriculture: A Multi-Stakeholder Workshop

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