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Lecture and discussion: "He who has the seed has the say"

Where does a radish actually form its seeds? Hardly anyone knows this today. Seed cultivation is no longer even taught in horticultural courses, and in recent decades there has hardly been any public discussion about seeds. The latter changed in 2016 with the news that Bayer wanted to buy Monsanto. Since then, there has been a heated debate about what this merger means - after all, Bayer is now the world's largest company for both agrochemicals and seeds.

What is the context of these developments? How did we get into such a situation in the first place? What does it mean that around 75% of the diversity of our crop varieties worldwide has been lost in the last 100 years and that farmers are increasingly being deprived of the opportunity to determine their own seeds?

The lecture will provide a rough overview of developments over the past 100 years and discuss how we can regain control over our seeds. The aim is to explain why it is so important to use a wide range of seed-resistant varieties and to propagate a few seeds ourselves. Questions about practical seed gardening will not be the focus of this lecture, but can be discussed if necessary.

The speaker Anja Banzhaf, author and self-taught seed gardener, attracted a great deal of attention with her book "Saatgut - Wer die Saat hat, hat das Sagen" (Seeds - Whoever has the seeds is in charge), published in 2016. With her intensive research in and beyond Europe, she has brought a globally controversial topic to the fore. It also deals with the ever-increasing market concentration of seed companies and thus, in very practical terms, with the crucial question of how our crop diversity can be preserved and further developed in the hands of farmers and gardeners.

Afterwards, two initiatives that deal intensively with the topic of seeds will introduce themselves:

Miri Löhr, commercial gardener at Solidarische Landwirtschaft Freudenthal, will talk about the possibilities of producing your own seeds on the farm.
Lea Forster, activist at OpenSourceSeeds, will show a way to turn seeds back into a common good for everyone through a special license.

We look forward to an exciting discussion!

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