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Newsletter #1

March 2021


This is the first issue of the SD=HS Newsletter, a new effort to highlight the work of the SD=HS program and to reach a wide audience. More specifically, this newsletter is meant to help all those involved in the program to communicate with each other, sharing ideas or results, presenting the different activities going on in different parts of the world, or showcasing new developments. This responds to a phrase heard many times in the field: “there’s a lot to show!” 

We start this first issue inviting you all to visit our new website, to share it with friends and colleagues – and to help us update it and improve it.

A new website

A few days ago we launched our new website, with a new layout and with more information. With a stronger visual element, this site is easier to navigate, helping visitors read about the work of all partner organizations and of the SD=HS program in general. It is also easier to see on a mobile phone and to link to social media. Just as important, the new structure makes it easier to upload and share information – helping us all communicate more regularly and more effectively, both between us and with others.

Here are some of its sections:

What do we do?
SD=HS is the joint effort of Oxfam Novib and different civil society organizations with a firm track record in the field of plant genetic resources to empower smallholder farmers. We work in partnership and invest in alliances with likeminded NGOs, government institutions, academic bodies and national breeding and research institutes.

Where do we work?
The SD=HS program works with indigenous peoples and smallholder farmers in 8 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. SD=HS promotes the management and conservation of the local agrobiodiversity, the recovery of NUS and quality seed production, and the approval of beneficial public policies.
What’s in the news? A new report of Oxfam’s partner No Patents on Seeds! shows that patents are still being applied, in spite of the verdict of the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) in May 2020, which considers that plants and animals derived from conventional breeding are no longer patentable. The report, together with more than 180.000 signatures, has been handed over to the EPO. Read more:

More from SD=HS
Innovating Plant Breeding – An international workshop

Participatory plant breeding (PPB), the active participation of farmers in plant breeding efforts, has shown many results and a great potential, helping strengthen seed systems by empowering communities to create and improve the varieties they need.
On March 30, 2021, Oxfam’s SD=HS program will host the first in a series of three international workshops, working together with farmers, breeders, researchers, donors, NGOs, private sector, and representatives of the international and national agricultural research systems. This will focus on the need to find common ground for large-scale collaborative development work on breeding and seed systems. More information?

Ideas for our next issue? Please send the news, information or documents you’d like to share to the newsletter’s email address: 
And please send your comments or suggestions!
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