The fight for food

Why Asia’s farmers are standing firm to save their crops

by Gwyneth Cheng

Under corporate pressure, traditional farming practices in Asia are slowly being erased by new laws. But our region’s farmers are standing firm, resisting legalities for the sake of protecting local crop seeds. What exactly is happening in this fight for food, and how can we, as consumers, contribute?

What crops do farmers often save?
There’s a fight brewing over seeds
How is seed-saving being criminalised?
Asia’s resistance
India—The fierce defense of crop seeds
Indonesia—The conviction of farmers for producing seeds
The Philippines—The fight against “Golden Rice”
South Korea—Increasing awareness to protect native seeds
Thailand—Resistance against free trade agreements
Seed-saving, on a larger scale
What can you do?
Disclaimer: Our stories have been researched and fact-checked to the best of our abilities. Should you spot mistakes, inaccuracies, or have queries about our sources, please drop us an e-mail at
Gwyneth Cheng / Writer

Gwyneth is immensely curious about the way the Earth works. An Environmental Biology graduate, she is particularly interested in environmental issues and the many ways in which human beings are intertwined with the natural world.

This story is written in collaboration with
Foodscape Pages

Foodscape Pages is community driven platform for publications and gatherings that inspire meaningful conversations and new perspectives around the ecology and culture of food. Through the lens and medium of food, we hold space for personal stories of lived experiences and for direct connections with practitioners on the ground.

Cover image and illustrations / Munirah Mansoor
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