Seed diversity is the basis of food security and food sovereignty. Seed is a community resource that has always been shared amongst communities. Local seed exchange between farmers and communities has been – and continues to be – the basis of agricultural development in Ethiopia. Seed developed by the local farmers represents up to 90% of all seed planted in the country. Even today, it is the farming communities of Ethiopia that are the nurturers of seed diversity and the producers of seed, not the governmental programs or the industry laboratories.
The threats to seed diversity in Ethiopia include drought, war, famine, cultural erosion and urban migration of the youth. Often communities only realize the value of this resource once it is lost. With this them in mind, MELCA has been coordinating actions related with seed diversity and promoting a campaign against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in agriculture. MELCA believes that issues relating to GMOs affect the life of communities. With the support of the African Biodiversity Network (ABN), different events have been organized in the past year to raise public awareness on the need to maintain seed diversity and to strengthen an anti-GMO movement in Ethiopia.