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Seed Wars and Farmers’ Rights: comparative perspectives from Brazil and India

Peschard, Karine (2016):
Seed Wars and Farmers' Rights: comparative perspectives from Brazil and India
Journal of Peasant Studies, Routledge, 6/2016


Drawing on interviews with Indian and Brazilian farmers’ rights activists, lawyers, agronomists and plant breeders, this article aims at better understanding how farmers’ rights are protected on paper and implemented on the ground in these two countries. Brazil and India offer important case studies because they are biologically megadiverse countries, and because small farmers represent an important segment of the rural economy. In this article, the author shows that India has adopted an ownership approach to farmers’ rights, while Brazil leans towards a stewardship approach. Based on an examination of the progress made in enforcing these rights, the author further argues that the stewardship model adopted by Brazil is more conducive to the realization of farmers’ rights, and explores why this is the case. Finally, the author shows how farmers’ rights provisions in the Brazilian and Indian legislations represent fragile gains that could be curtailed by several bills currently under discussion in the field of seed and plant variety protection.

Link to article (paid)
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Page last updated 20 September 2012