Seeds as biosocial commons. An analysis of various practices in India

PhD defence

Seeds as biosocial commons. An analysis of various practices in India

PhD candidate Archana Patnaik
Promotor JSC (Han) Wiskerke
Co-promotor prof.dr. GTP (Guido) Ruivenkamp JP (Joost) Jongerden
Organisation Wageningen University, Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS), Rural Sociology

Thu 8 September 2016 11:00 to 12:30

Venue Auditorium, building number 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
6703 BG Wageningen

Short Summary

Seeds form an important element for sustaining human life (through food production) and social relations (by maintaining agricultural socialities). Therefore, conservation and management of seeds are essential for plant breeding, agricultural production and to meet the growing food demand of the increasing population. However, the changed use of these resources through enclosures and appropriation of the Intellectual Property Rights creates underutilisation of these resources, risking their important societal role. This research therefore analysed how seeds can render their benefits within the Indian context operating as commons or opposed to enclosures and appropriations. The four cases analysed in the study found that the informal seed exchanges and sharing that takes place between different farmers and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) makes seeds function as commons in the Indian context. Thus, the research establishes that sharing and exchanges of seeds leads to their better functioning than patenting or creating property rights over them.