Similar attachment to saved seeds, differing attitude in seed sharing: comparison of full-time organic farmers and lifestyle farmers in Japan

Ms Ayako Kawai1

1Australian National University, Acton, Australia


On-farm conservation of crop diversity requires farmers to be engaged in continued seed saving. However, farmers’ seed saving has been marginalised with the limitation of legislation and the lack of farmer-incentives particularly in industrialised societies (Thomas et al., 2011). As such, it is important to understand human cultures that attach value to seed saving practices. This presentation examines seed savers’ value and behaviour associated with seed saving, taking Japan as a case study and comparing between full-time organic farmers and lifestyle farmers. Both of the actors were building an emotional connection with saved seeds through bodily-engagement. However, they were presenting a distinct attitude regarding how seeds should be managed and were taking contrasting behaviour. This difference was based on different discourse that they follow.

Thomas, M., Dawson, J.C., Goldringer, I., Bonneuil, C., 2011. Seed exchanges, a key to analyze crop diversity dynamics in farmer-led on-farm conservation. Genet. Resour. Crop Evol. 58, 321–338.


PhD Candidate, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Human Ecology


The Institute of Australian Geographers (IAG) is the principal body representing geographers and promoting the study and application of geography in Australia. It was founded in 1958 and since then has promoted, supported and defended Australian geography.

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