| THE FARMERS' RIGHTS
Why a project on Farmers'
The focus on Farmers' Rights was chosen, because
these rights are vital for the conservation and sustainable use of crop genetic
resources among the core objectives of the International Treaty on Plant
Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and for the realization of
Millennium Development Goal 1 on the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger
(see Why Farmers' Rights matter).
It was also chosen because there is little attention to this
important and urgent topic world-wide, and because the conditions for the
implementation of these rights are difficult, not least since they are not
defined in the International Treaty and the responsibility for implementing
them rests with the Governments (see Farmers' Rights in the International
Finally, the topic has been beset with controversies and
conflicts since the first time it came up (see
History of Farmers' Rights), which has
further reduced the chances of successful implementation. Thus, an important
motivation has been to move the debate ahead from the earlier controversies,
and based on the consensus formulations in the Treaty build
bridges to a joint perception of needed action, in respect of the countries'
freedom to choose measures according to their needs and priorities.
to the particular context of this topic, it has been particularly important to
develop a solid empirical basis for the activities in the project, based on
research. This has allowed us to identify available options and possible
processes for implementing Farmers' Rights at the national as well as
international levels. The hope is that the project can contribute to paving the
way for the implementation of the International Treaty with regard to Farmers'