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On International Day of Seeds 2024, SEARICE reaffirms its resolve to strengthen and protect farmers’ seed system as a pillar of farmers’ livelihood and of food security for all.

SEARICE continues to advocate for laws and policies that are essential to meeting this commitment. In the Philippines, SEARICE is closely monitoring progress in amending the National Seed Law, also known as Republic Act (RA) 7308, or the Seed Industry Development Act (SIDA) of 1992.


The National Seed Law, in its very language, is focused on the development of the formal seed system-- an organized way of seed business, dominated by government agencies and private seed companies, in which improved varieties are developed and seed of a particular class is produced and marketed. In contrast, the farmers’ seed system is mainly based on farm-saved seed.


SIDA’s clear bias in favor of the formal seed system, including promotion of private sector-led investments in this sector, and protectionist measures in its favor, is a major flaw that SEARICE demands must be rectified. SEARICE also takes issue with the top-down approach of the formal seed system, which excludes farmers from decision- and policy-making processes that affect farmers’ access to seeds.


SIDA’s clear bias in favor of the formal seed system is a glaring flaw that cannot stand.

On 7 August 2019, House Bill (HB) 3638 was filed in the Philippine Congress, seeking to amend the SIDA 1992. SEARICE expressed its support for this bill, especially the following features:


Principles of inclusivity, equitability and sustainability as the bill’s cornerstones

  • HB 3638 seeks to recognize Farmers’ Rights, such as the inherent rights of farmers and farming communities to save, conserve, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seeds.

  • The proposed amendments aim to provide equal protection and opportunities for development to both the formal and farmers’ seed systems.

  • The amendments respond to the global call for sustainability, biodiversity and conservation.


Recognition and strengthening of the farmers’ seed system

  • HB 3238 defines the objectives and mechanisms for the development of the farmers’ seed system.

  • It includes and operationalizes the development of the farmers’ seed system in the national seed development program.

  • It protects the farmers’ seed system from terms and provisions that are favorable and applicable only to the formal seed system.


Conservation of plant genetic resources (PGRs) and the sustainable use of seeds

  • HB 3638 provides for the conservation of PGRs and the development and sustainable use of seeds.

  • It aligns the national seed development program with medium- and long-term measures for promoting sustainability.


As of this writing, the fate of HB 3638 remains uncertain. But SEARICE will continue to push for HB 3638 and more inclusive and sustainable policies that seek to protect and develop farmers’ seed system, which, in tandem with the formal seed system, comprises the Philippines’ strongest defense against food insecurity in the midst of climate change.

International Day of Seeds 2024

SEARICE calls for laws that recognize and strengthen farmers’ seed system

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