As more African governments begin promoting commercial monocultures with the hopes of high yields and faster production, older, more traditional methods of smallholder farming have begun to disappear. Many small-scale farmers in South Africa are being persuaded by the government to throw our their old, saved seeds in exchange for newer GM and hybrid seeds. This is common in South Africa despite the United Nations’ International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (IT- PGRFA) written to guarantee farmers’ rights to save, use, and exchange seeds, and protect indigenous knowledge, among other things. However, South Africa, as well as other African nations, never signed this treaty.
Read more about the challenges smallholder farmers in South Africa face in preserving indigenous seeds against government pressure here: