Seeds of Contention

Governments in Africa are on a legislating spree to regulate the continent’s seed markets – ostensibly to put a stop to chronic hunger. Many believe the real reason is the corporate push that is driving nations to facilitate and promote trade in hybrid seed varieties.

Will these new laws spell the end of the continent’s food diversity and indigenous practices of seed conservation?

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE, and Down To Earth magazine ( in New Delhi and Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (MESHA) organised the Second Online Africa Network Media Cafe to discuss and demystify this subject.

The Media Cafe examined the issues and concerns around seeds and seed markets in Africa from a reporter’s perspective. It looked at the ground situation through expert analyses; and will explore existing coverage, as well as identify future story possibilities.

Down To Earth’s special Africa cover on the subject was launched on this occasion. Besides the magazine’s India-based reporters, six talented African journalists from Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania have contributed to this cover story.


  • The Media Café is open only to practising journalists working in and based in Africa.
  • This is a free online event.
  • All selected participants will be reimbursed a standard compensation in US dollars for purchase of internet bundles/airtime to be used to attend this Media Cafe.
  • Down To Earth (CSE) and Sayansi (MESHA) magazines are potential publications where participating journalists can explore opportunities to publish their stories.

About the Africa Network Media Cafes
Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) is a highly respected think-tank based in New Delhi, India, which works on some of the key issues and concerns of environment and development in the Global South. Down To Earth is a fortnightly English magazine that the Centre has been helping publish since the 1990s. A number of writers, subject experts and journalists from Africa regularly contribute articles and opinions in this magazine.

CSE and Down To Earth share a long-standing and successful association with MESHA, working together to build capacity and understanding of journalists in Africa on issues of environment and development. The partnership has resulted in a number of pan-Africa briefings, training programmes, etc over the past several years. The Africa Network Media Cafe is a new initiative under this partnership – designed as a series of media briefings on some of the most critical and current survival questions that are dogging the Global South.


Souparno Banerjee
The CSE Media Resource Centre, India,
+91 9910864339


Souparno Banerjee
Senior Director,
Outreach, Publications and Environment Education, CSE, India

Aghan Daniel
Secretary, MESHA, Kenya,