Seed Sovereignty in India
The chapter is primarily about India’s attempt to transform its legislations on seed protection. The thing that surprised me most about the chapter is that the government has to register all seeds before their introduction in the market. I did not know that such registration was part of the government until after reading the very informative chapter. The chapter shows that plant scientists and social scientists vary on their perceptions of genetically modified (GM) and hybrid seeds and their roles in suppressing hunger. Whereas plant scientists believe that embracing GM would bring to an end autonomous seed saving practices and would transform marketing approaches for small-scale producers. However, social scientists have the view that embracing GM amounts to civil disobedience or Satyagraha that outlines the rights to save seeds. Hence, plant scientists believe that embracing GM would go a long way into preventing hunger while social scientists in India have contrary views.
The author of the chapter (Amy Trauger) content that the impact of transnational capital in the food system, especially through the regulation and patenting of life forms, presents a possible threat to the sustainability of food supply in different parts of the world. According to Trauger, such regulations may not work as effectively as anticipated if small farmers are unaware about them and their requirements. Consequently, the author terms such transformations aimed at transforming seed saving as requiring further assessment and review to avoid further dissatisfactions that could occur from particular groups, particularly local farmers who may not be conversant with the requirements of the 2004 National Seed Policy. Finally, I concur with the author’s argument concerning the use of the Satyagraha by Navdanya as well as their source of funding because local seed developers have always believed that the regulations of seeds in India follow certain guidelines that have always guided farmers.