A new film from The Gaia Foundation and the African Biodiversity Network

A story of hope, revival and commitment. A journey to restore seed and food sovereignty in Africa. A guide to anyone looking to secure agro-ecological farming systems around the world.

Seeds of Sovereignty shares the stories of African communities embarking on a journey to revive their traditional seed diversity, and take back control over their food systems. Forging a path toward a socially just, ecologically sane and sovereign future, they are courageously challenging the corporate, profit driven model of agriculture imposed upon them.

At the heart of each community’s story lies the seed, symbol of renewal and life. Exploring their relationship to seed and its deep cultural and spiritual significance the film draws attention to the vital importance of seed diversity to humanity’s collective resilience and health and that of the ecosystems we rely on. Thanks to the actions of vast corporations seeking control over seed and, by proxy, the global food system, this diversity has been drastically reduced in recent decades, leaving food systems insecure and vulnerable to shock. At a time of multiple ecological crises and uncertainty, the pioneering actions being taken by these communities to revive diversity and secure our common heritage for future generations are therefore all the more urgent and inspiring.

Through the voices of local and indigenous farmers, the 30-minute film unpacks the approach responsible for this revival, evolved by The Gaia Foundation and African Biodiversity Network, alongside partner organisations and communities. Aligned with the principles underpinning the growing global movement for food sovereignty, it provides a guide for anyone looking to revive traditional, diversity rich, seed and farming systems around the world.

Building on the closing chapter of our previous film, Seeds of Freedom, narrated by Jeremy Irons, Seeds of Sovereignty seeks not only to debunk the claim that large-scale industrial agriculture is the only way to feed the world, but to actively explore a working, practical alternative. Illuminating the vital importance of indigenous seed and agro-ecological farming systems to the future of our planet, the film shows that we can and must find another path- one that values diverse sovereignties, not monocultural controls.

Alongside speakers from indigenous farming communities the film features global experts and activists working for the revitalization of seed diversity and the traditional knowledge that allows it to flourish: Henk Hobbelink of GRAIN, Ethno-botanist Patricia Howard, Ethiopian agronomist Hailu Getu, Silvia Gomez, Liz Hosken of the Gaia Foundation, Anthropologist Fassil Gebreyehu and Million Belay of MELCA Ethiopia.

This film is co-produced by The Gaia Foundation and the African Biodiversity Network in collaboration with GRAIN and MELCA Ethiopia. With thanks to funding from the A Team Foundation.

Find out more about the threats currently posed to seed diversity and traditional farming systems today.