12/12/2016 18:43 SAST | Updated 13/12/2016 10:48 SAST

SA Seed Regulations Are Too Strict, Says Local Grower

Sean Freeman says there's a demand for open pollinated seed. So why are there so few other producers investing in the field?

Sean Freeman is a grower, who runs an online heirloom seed business called Livingseeds from a middle-class smallholding in Henley-on-Klip in Midvaal, south of Johannesburg. Here, he and a small staff grow, collect, clean, dry and then pack seeds for sale online.

"We are South Africa's largest supplier of heirloom vegetable seed," Freeman told the Oxpeckers Centre for Investigative Environmental Journalism. "We specialise in growing vegetable seeds for the South African home gardener market and sell 600 varieties of vegetables."

Freeman estimates he grows more than 800 varieties every year and his customer base exceeds 15,000 customers. In this video Freeman talks about why he is one of the few seed growers in South Africa.

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