Social processes of sharing and collecting seeds as regenerative agricultural practices

Patnaik, A.; Jongerden, J.P.


Environmental degradation caused by conventional agriculture has been conceptualized in terms of metabolic rift. This chapter discusses genetic erosion as an expression of the metabolic rift. It is against this background that this chapter considers the centrality of seeds and sharing for addressing the metabolic rift and developing regenerative agricultural practices. Looking at seed sharing practices of farmers in India, this chapter shows how these sharing practices helped the communities to interact and rebuild their farms as coherent units. We discuss three cases reflecting on seeds and their sharing among communities. From the cases we show how local and regional production practices restore, rebuild, and regenerate the production process, mending the rift. This has been done by building a resource base to be used for production; followed by attempts to extend the resource base through social networks of seed sharing and conserving; finally, through sustainable farming practices that regenerate soil structure and the ecological system, the metabolic relation between nature and agriculture was maintained. This chapter suggests that seeds, their reproduction, and sharing practices are important constituents for regeneration of agricultural systems