'Occupy the Seed!' Vandana's Call for Seed Freedom + Free Seed Saving eBook

Sebastian von Holstein
Sunday, 26th August 2012

Following on from the Occupy movements that have taken the world by storm, Dr. Vandana Shiva has planned a two-week campaign named the Seed Freedom Fortnight of Action, also known as 'Occupy the Seed'. To help launch the campaign we offer a free vegetable seed saving guide eBook.

The campaign is symbolically set to begin on Mahatma Ghandi's birth date on October 2, through to October 16th. It will seek to improve awareness of the growing threat that patented seeds pose on both our crop diversity and personal freedoms. It will also act to improve our relationship with a universal food supply that humanity has grown to take for granted.

In a video entitled Seed Freedom, Vandana Shiva states that while "farmers [continue to] have their seeds in their hands, there will never be poverty, never be hunger." However, large corporations such as Monsanto have created what she refers to as a "seed emergency", preventing farmers from accessing and controlling their own supply of seeds, by genetically modifying, patenting and then circulating 'sterile' seeds. Farmers who continue to grow seeds traditionally often suffer from cross contamination and run the risk of being sued by Monsanto, under the pretence that they have stolen 'modified genes.'

Shiva makes it clear that "patents on seed that make it illegal for farmers to save and exchange them will [result in] scarcity." The dangers of relying on mass-scale monocultures of patented seed varieties is in itself a risky move for our food supply, while also having driven hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers to commit suicide. Such facts are greatly distressing, however Shiva's message below is one of great inspiration and hope:

Vandana's Message to Permaculturists

Dear Permaculturists,

There can be no permanent agriculture without the permanence, diversity and renewability of seed. Unlike industrial monocultures, permaculture depends on the co-operation between different species – plant and animals, perennial and annual.

The seeds of this diversity are at the heart of an agriculture of permanence. This is why you have an extremely important role to play in the Global Campaign for Seed Freedom both to save the diversity of seeds as well as our freedom to save and exchange seeds. Everywhere new laws are being imposed that make seed diversity, seed freedom and seed exchange illegal.

That is why I invite you to play a leading role in the Fortnight for Seed Freedom from 2nd October (Gandhi's Birth Anniversary) to 16th October 2012 (World Food Day). In the spirit of Gandhi's satyagraha, we plan to focus especially on the 2nd October (Gandhi's birth anniversary) as a call for civil disobedience against unjust seed laws, to declare our Seed Freedom.

I enclose some ideas for actions for the Seed Freedom Fortnight and look forward to planning common strategies and receiving from you a calendar of actions for the Fortnight so that together we can reclaim our Seed Freedom.

Vandana Shiva

17th August 2012

'Occupy the Seed' is a fantastic opportunity to spread the word on seed monopolies. There are many ways for Permaculturalists to participate - Start off by joining the Seed Freedom Movement by signing the declaration on seed freedom, or subscribe to Seed Freedom on Youtube, Facebook and Twitter. You are also encouraged to share information and videos with others. For these, and many more ways to get involved, please follow the links below.

Download a FREE eBook, A Guide to Seed Saving, Seed Stewardship & Seed Sovereignty By The Seed Ambassadors Project.

Click this link for a comprehensive list of information and tips for getting involved during the Seed Freedom Fortnight of Action.

To sign the declaration and for more information, visit Seed Freedom's official website:


Erik |
Mon, 27/08/2012 - 00:49
Here are two UK websites that run seedswaps. http://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/grapevine/seed-swap/ http://www.allotments4all.co.uk/smf/index.php?board=1.0
keisha |
Sat, 29/09/2012 - 14:53
To explain this to a layperson then...if i save seeds from a supermarket tomato can I grow a new tomato plant? Also, can anybody tell me about the terminator seeds and how monsanto would create a continuous supply when they apparently terminate themselves?
Skepteco |
Mon, 01/10/2012 - 17:02
keisha- yes you can probably grow a new tomato plant from a supermarket seed, but it will probably not grow true, ie it may not give you very good varieties; Monsanto probably dont make the secrets of their technology public but one way they might sprout their Terminator seeds would be to spray a chemical on the seeds that will activate a dormant gene, or something like that.