REFLECTION: Seed Sovereignty is Fundamental to Food Sovereignty

Food sovereignty is keeping the indigenous seeds from generation to generation, enough to plow, sell and share with others. Central to being food sovereign, it is important to have seed banks at household, community and national level employing indigenous practices to store and manage seeds to keep it 100% pure without chemicals. Seed policies should support indigenous seed storage and management practices.  Below is a brief outline of the method of how Swaziland Rural Women’s Assembly are managing their seed system:

Storage of Seeds

The following methods are used to store seeds

  • Burning aloe Vera into ash and mix with your seeds to prevent weevil and other insects from damaging the seeds
  • Tying maize cops and hanging them in the kitchen ceiling allowing them to be smoked so that it can harden the outer part of the seed for it to be not easily penetrated by insects
  • Weave a 2-metre long chicken nest and smear it with cow dung outside and sprinkle the inside with aloe ash and put your seeds
  • Crushing dried tobacco leaves mix with the seeds and put in a clay pot and seal with cow dong

Multiplication of seeds 

How to farm and multiply seeds

  • We use agroecological methods and practices that do not involve chemicals
  • For killing insects we use chilies, tobacco leaves to spray the crops
  • To avoid cross pollination from hybrid seeds and GMOs cut the flower of the maize plant.

*Article submitted by Cebile Dlamini, Swaziland Rural Women’s Assembly

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