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IDEX Partners Angus Gillis and Biowatch in the News!

In November and December, two of IDEX’s* partner groups in South Africa were featured in the news!

Angus Gillis* was featured in the most recent edition of Business Link out of South Africa. The article highlights their great work in grassroots community development in Grahamstown, SA and the many facets of Angus Gillis’ efforts in health, education, and self-help groups.

Biowatch, another IDEX partner out of South Africa, was in The Ecologist. Biowatch speaks out against the co-option of local seed by big agribusinesses Monsanto and Dupont, specifically in stopping a current proposal for a merger between Dupont’s subsidiary, Pioneer Seed, and Pannar Seed that would expand their control of the seed business.

Biowatch and other activist groups argue that allowing foreign corporate control of South Africa’s seed supply would erode the availability of traditional conventional seed varieties, hurt export business with countries opposed to biotech crops, and force farmers deep into debt to pay for expensive seeds that are the patented properties of the U.S. corporations.

“From a civil society and market transparency point of view, as well as from the perspective of food security and sovereignty, Biowatch and other players are deeply concerned about yet further concentration, this time by offshore-held transnational corporations that do not have the interests of either our farmers or our national food security at heart, but that are only interested in maximizing profit,” the article quotes Biowatch. (Find the full article here)

Ultimately, South Africa rejected the merger. Biowatch was an integral voice of criticism and insight into the possibly detrimental outcome of a GM seed monopoly in South Africa by big corporations.

For more analysis on the battle to control seeds in South Africa, check out this Reuters article, which also features Biowatch.

IDEX is proud to work with partners that are making an impact in their communities and looking for long term, sustainable solutions to food insecurity and poverty. To have Biowatch and Angus Gillis featured so prominently in Business Link and the Ecologist is a great opportunity for their work to reach the greater public.

*Thousand Currents changed its name from IDEX in 2016, and Angus Gillis is now Ubunye Foundation.

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