Repossession through sharing of and access to seeds: different cases and practices

Archana Patnaik*, Joost Jongerden, Guido Ruivenkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Seeds are both the means and product of agricultural production. The corporate appropriation of seeds affects farmers’ autonomy and has been contested and resisted by farmers worldwide through practices of repossession. This article investigates different practices of the repossession of seeds emphasising the micro-structure and recent developments in agricultural practices that lead to a commonisation of seeds. Various practices of seed repossession present in India are analysed and compared with open-source initiatives to present examples of the diversity of singular initiatives aimed at the commonisation of seeds in the Global South. The article shows that each initiative applies a multitude of concrete practices to counter what we will refer to as metabolic rift, but without a single generic strategy, each seeking in its own way to repossess seeds and (re)locate them in a social space of commons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-201
JournalInternational Review of Sociology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Commons
  • metabolic rift
  • open source
  • repossession
  • seeds


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