Political Framework of the Production and Use of Seeds in Venezuela: Approaches at the International Regime

Political Framework of the Production and Use of Seeds in Venezuela: Approaches at the International Regime

Vladimir Aguilar Castro (Universidad de Los Andes, Venezuela)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8336-5.ch008
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Abstract

Political and legal developments addressed to protect traditional knowledge are the result of huge efforts made by different actors at international and at national level. Nevertheless, traditional knowledge is broadly understood as freely accessible. Intellectual property norms are highly developed and strongly protect some knowledge products that are excluded of public domain, such as new varieties of plants. In light of this situation, political and legal tensions emerge in different countries, especially when it has an impact on areas highly profitable for some industries. This is the case of multinational agricultural companies that act globally by using technologies protected by intellectual property rights, threating traditional expressions applied for the use and conservation of seeds by local communities in different countries. In Venezuela, such tensions are present in the 2002 Law about Seeds, Animal Material and Supplies for Biological Reproduction, which is analyzed in this chapter.
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Political Aspects Of The Production And Use Of Seeds In Venezuela

Currently, agricultural production and, above all, food distribution are perhaps the most pressing concerns of governments, institutions, academicians, as well as most common people. This is due to the effects that some harmful production practices have had on the environment, such as soil depletion from mass production practices, that is, soils that at one time were fertile and are now barren, and water sources that were once abundant and suitable for human consumption and agriculture, but are now scarce or have become polluted.

One of the main indicators that show the rather bleak reality of food shortages or food misdistribution, is, firstly, the absence of some basic commodities or the excessive price increases at all levels of the food chain, that is, the so called “high cost of living”.

Understanding how the food production industry operates, the scientific procedures required to create genetically modified foods, biofuels, storage in silos, patent ownership, the cartelization of food prices and other elements of this chain, constitute the context of the political aspects related to seed production in Venezuela.

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