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Farmers' Rights in the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

The realization of Farmers' Rights is a cornerstone in the implementation of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, as it is a precondition for the conservation and sustainable use of these vital resources in situ as well as on-farm.

The Treaty recognizes the enormous contributions made by farmers worldwide in conserving and developing crop genetic resources. This constitutes the basis of Farmers' Rights. According to Article 9, governments are to protect and promote Farmers' Rights, but can choose the measures to do so according to their needs and priorities. Measures may include the protection of traditional knowledge, equitable benefit sharing, participation in decision-making, and the right to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seeds and propagating material.

Several other Articles in the Treaty are also important for the realization of Farmers' Rights. However, the understanding of Farmers' Rights and the modalities for their implementation is still vague. The Governing Body of the International Treaty has taken steps to promote the realization of Farmers' Rights and is in the process of discussing further measures.


Read more:
   On the International Treaty
   Central provisions on Farmers' Rights
   Follow-up in the Governing Body of the Treaty
   The Benefit-Sharing Fund of the International Treaty
   New resolution on Farmers' Rights under the International Treaty
   Little progress on sustainable use at the Third Session of the Plant Treaty
   Global Consultations on Farmers' Rights
   the Fourth Session of the Governing Body

Relevant links and documents:
 Homepage of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
 Homepage of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
 Provisions of the International Treaty relevant for Farmers' Rights
 Global Plan of Action for the Conservation and Sustainable use of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
 Report of the First Session of the Governing Body, 2006
 Lusaka Report: Informal Consultations on Farmers' Rights, 2007 (Summaries also available in Spanish and French)
 Input Paper on Farmers' Rights for the Second Session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty from Zambia and Norway, 2007
 Information Paper on Farmers' Rights from the Secretary of the International Treaty
 Resolution on Farmers' Rights from the Second Session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty
 Press release from the Fridtjof Nansen Institute on FR/GB2
 Report of the Second Session of the Governing Body
 Information Paper on Farmers' Rights for the Third Session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty from Norway, 2009
 Information Paper on Farmers' Rights from the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, 2009
 Resolution on Farmers' Rights from the Third Session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty
 Press release from the Fridtjof Nansen Institute on FR/GB3
Top top
 In this section:
  ABOUT FARMERS' RIGHTS
  Farmers' Rights in the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
  Why Farmers' Rights matter
  The contents of Farmers' Rights
  History of Farmers' Rights in the FAO
  Farmers' Rights in the literature
  Civil Society Organizations' approaches to Farmers' Rights

Photo: G. Ulutuncok

Page last updated 31 January 2011