| HOW TO REALIZE FARMERS' RIGHTS AT THE
Who are the farmers
who should be included in the processes?
Farmers are not
defined in the International Treaty. However, in several provisions, the Treaty
emphasizes farmers who conserve and develop plant genetic resources for food
and agriculture, particularly so in the provisions on Farmers' Rights. Thus,
there are basically two approaches to this question. Either participation is
limited to the farmers who conserve and develop crop genetic diversity, or all
farmers should be included, disregarded of choice of propagating material and
The latter would mean that large scale farmers, solely
using commercial and genetically homogenous crop varieties, would be entitled
to participate in the implementation process on an equal foot with farmers
involved in the maintenance of crop genetic diversity.
arguments for and against the inclusion of farmers who are not involved in the
maintenance of crop genetic diversity. An argument for their inclusion is that
Farmers' Rights should extend to all farmers, as they are based on the
customary practices of farmers independently of what propagating material and
technologies they choose to use today. Also farmers to various degrees depend
on the rights for example to use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed, and it
would be difficult to differentiate between farmers in this regard.
argument against the inclusion of farmers, who are not involved in the
maintenance of crop genetic resources, is that they may have different
interests then those involved in the maintenance of crop genetic diversity. For
example, they may be more interested in legislation and incentive structures
favouring the use of commercial plant varieties than crop genetic diversity.
This would not be beneficial for the implementation of Farmers' Rights in the
framework of the International Treaty. Thus, involving these farmers may not
necessarily contribute to solutions in line with the intentions behind the
A. As a
minimum requirement, farmers involved in the maintenance of crop genetic
diversity, in terms of conservation and sustainable use, should be involved in
the process of implementing Farmers' Rights.
Alternatively all categories of farmers can be involved. However, it is then
important to differentiate between the categories in terms of primary target
groups of measures for Farmers' Rights, as indicated in the International
Treaty, and other categories. It is also necessary to be aware of potentially
diverging interests in this regard and give priority to the category of farmers
involved in conservation and development of crop genetic diversity.
Pages in this sub-section:
STEP 2: ENSURING FARMERS' PARTICIPATION IN THE
Who are the farmers who should be included in
How do we
identify their representatives?
Who should actually identify such
farmers' participation in the implementation process be ensured?