Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Farmers call to use forks to resist monopolies

The Cyprus Farmers Union (Eka) is in the process of creating a Cyprus seed bank to resist big corperations who have a monopoly over many seeds and to uphold the Cyprus food culture, the union said on Tuesday.

Union leader Panikos Hambas made the announcement after participating in the first Olympic Seed Festival held in Paranesti, Greece, last weekend.

He stressed the importance of the event “at a time when big monopolies controlling seeds try to control what is on our plates, change our traditions, history and culture, preventing us from enjoying the traditional Mediterranean diet.”

“We, with our forks, with our creativity will have to resist these policies.”

The festival was organised by Peliti (Oak), a group that has been instrumental in managing the largest seed exchange without money in Europe.

Eka, encouraged by this, proceeded to create a Cyprus seed bank and has started to collect seeds from farmers for storage as well as spreading the message.

At the event the union also handed Cypriot traditional seeds to attendees as part of their effort to resist a small amount of companies whose aim it is to privatise seeds.

“Our common goal is: seeds remain free in the hands of growers, in the hands of peasants who care, keep them and spread them from generation to generation through centuries,” the farmers’ union said.

They called on people to “defend the Mediterranean dietary habits for our children, culture, environment, health and history.”

The first Olympic Seed Festival was held from April 19 to 23 together with the 17th Peliti seed festival.

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