Women Reclaim Our Seeds

This booklet is to share women’s successful initiatives to revitalise local varieties and to celebrate women’s resilience and knowledge systems in food and agriculture production. It is to recognise women’s strengths, innovativeness and contributions in sustainable agricultural practices and in ensuring food security for her family and community. The stories come from the diverse experiences of women-led or managed initiatives in sustainable farming practices across Asia where they play key roles as custodians of seeds. The story from Hanoi, Vietnam celebrates the revitalisation of women’s traditional experiences in producing rice seeds. In India, the women farmers of Uttarakhand revive lost varieties of wheat and diversity of crops including certain crops that they say ‘work like medicine’. In another part of India, the women from Karnataka have emerged as leaders of their community as seed custodians, trainers, and entrepreneur, and through seed bank activities. The struggle of rural women of Pakistan for land is fundamentally linked to their rights as food producers. The experience of one woman’s success embodies the importance of this struggle to the empowerment of women and the recognition of her knowledge including the conservation and selection of seeds. In the Philippines, a federation of 14 women-led local groups organised themselves to produce food ecologically and so they shifted to organic farming. This was also a form of resistance against corporate agriculture. These stories also speak of women’s challenges and struggles as they assert rights to access and control over seeds, including land and other productive resources. Women in food and farm systems have yet to get due recognition in Asia and the world over. At the village, commune and household levels, they remain key to a family and community’s health, nourishment and well being. Just as seed is central in agricultures, so are women central as seed keepers, knowledge holders and small farmers in their own right. Yet they are not generally kept centre-stage in agricultural planning at the micro-level or policy-making for it at the macro level. But the need of the hour is to encourage women’s inherent capabilities in agriculture while keeping alive the broader environment in which these capacities are developed and nurtured, just as they develop and nurture seeds.


Title: Women Reclaim Our Seeds
Authors: Pesticide Action Network Asia Pacific
Tags: food security
organic farming
sustainable agriculture
rice seeds
small farmers
Date: 20-May-2013
Publisher: Pesticide Action Network Asia Pacific
URI: http://library.ipamglobal.org/jspui/handle/ipamlibrary/455
Weblink: http://www.panap.net/sites/default/files/women-reclaim-our-seeds.pdf
Category Type: Books
Appears in Sub-Collections:Women in Agriculture

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