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Tanzania: Strengthening Farmers' Seed System Through 'Open Source'

The National Plant Genetic Resources Centre (NPGRC-Tanzania), in collaboration with Hivos, Bioversity International, Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Africa and other partners are currently implementing a project, which explores possibilities of the 'open source seed systems'.

When someone mentions open source, you automatically think software, an open source software movement, which was a response to increased concentration of power of a few large multinational profit oriented corporations, limiting innovation by making software a proprietary resource.

The same is happening in our food system, where larger agribusinesses are monopolising the food system's most important resource - seeds that grow into crops. This creates or will create future challenges at different levels, from decreasing farmers' autonomy to select, breed and exchange their own seed varieties to reducing agricultural biodiversity available in the public domain.

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