Seeds Caravan 3.-12.06.2016
At a time where seed markets are dominated by large corporations, it is essential to focus on local peasant seed production. In the seeds sector hybrids are becoming the norm and we face an increased effort to declare genetically modified plants as safe, or to give the impression, with the help of “new breeding techniques”, that we are not talking about genetic engineering at all. Against these developments it is necessary to find possibilities to maintain and increase a peasant seed supply that is locally adapted. Extreme weather due to climate change, such as long lasting droughts, increase the need for locally adapted seeds that can react flexibly in uncertain conditions. Every farmer should have the possibility of a self-determined use of such seeds. Frequently though, the required varieties for the certain location of a farm are not bred, or are not permitted for sale. This is also due to the seeds legislation that contributes to a restriction of available seeds on the market.
From Junge AbL’s point of view it is essential that farmers can work and act independently, be able to decide autonomously and according to environmental conditions and thus guarantee a sustainable cultivation of their produce. The right to seeds is a basic prerequisite to achieve this, especially for the implementation of food sovereignty and the preservation of crop diversity.
Get on the camels: the seeds caravan
The idea of the caravan is to be in direct exchange with farmers who actively engage in seeds work. To do so, we do not want to sit in a lecture hall and listen passively, but to actively visit farms in Southern Germany, Switzerland and in France that work with seeds in their everyday farm work. Together we want to intensely look into topics such as seeds reproduction, breeding, exchange and storage. The seeds caravan shall be recorded in a written documentation and thus make important information accessible to all people who are interested, especially to farmers. We are planning to focus on crop seeds, as compared to vegetable seeds less networking is taking place in this sector at the moment.
There will be a seminar ahead of our journey where we will go into detail on the political background and the current legal situation. Furthermore, we will receive training on the documentation and preparation of the caravan. The seminar will be held from the 3rd to the 5th of June in a youth hostel in the town of Gießen. To prepare for the documentation of the tour we will also design a media training during the seminar. As the seminar is only in german language up to now we would like you to contact us if you want to participate and don't speak german, so that we can try to organise traduction or similar. Moreover, there will be a blog on our homepage where we will share our experiences during our tour. After the seminar we will visit farms from the 6th to the 12th of June. You can find more detailed information further down!
Our intention is
- to see and understand peasant seeds work
- Illuminate and question the legal framework
- Document our experiences and spread it after our journey via events and publications
- Gain experience for our own agricultural work
Friday June 3rd to Sunday, June 5th
Youth hostel, Gießen
Sunday June 5th (afternoon)
Dottenfelderhof, near Frankfurt
Monday, June 6th 10 a.m.
Monday, June 6th 2 p.m.
Tuesday, June 7th
Keyserlingk-Institut and farm
Wednesday, June 8th (morning)
Farm visit at Lake Constance
Wednesday, June 8th (afternoon)
Journey to France
Thursday, June 9th
Farm visit in France
Thursday, June 9th (afternoon)
Farm visit in France
Friday, June 10th
Visits to farms in France
Saturday, June 11th
Farm visit in Switzerland
Sunday, June 12th
Return to Frankfurt, Germany
During our journey we will travel by bus, cook on our own and sleep in tents. A core group of 18 people will participate from the beginning to the end and will also take care of the documentation and wrap-up. Thanks to our sponsors the attendance fee will be 30 Euros.
It is also possible to participate in the seminar only, which would cost 15 Euros.
We also want to invite people to come join us for one or several days, to visit the farms and engage in discussions. You can see on the map where we are on which day. We would be very happy if people want to join us for a route section and have the possibility to travel on their own!
If you want to participate or you wish to receive further information do not hesitate to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some information about us
We are young and future farmers, students and young people who are interested in agricultural topics and we are active in jAbL (Junge Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft – Youth Association of Peasant Farming). You can learn more about us here.
AbL is a member of the worldwide movement “La Via Campesina” which advocates for peasants’ rights:
You can find more information on seeds sovereignty here.