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Plant Variety Protection and Farmers' Rights – Towards a Broader Understanding

Cullet, Philippe & Radhika Kolluru (2003):
Plant Variety Protection and Farmers' Rights - Towards a Broader Understanding
Delhi Law Review, Vol. 24, p. 41-59.


This article analyses India's various legislation relevant for plant breeders' and farmers' rights. Among the conclusions is that these acts are not homogeneous. As for farmers' rights, the signals point in different directions, and much more needs to be done to coordinate policies.

According to the authors, a broader conception of farmers' rights needs to be established. Such rights should be conceived as a positive mechanism that give to traditional knowledge holders property rights and therefore full control over their knowledge. Other actors involved in agrobiodiversity management, including beneficiaries at large, should also have duties towards the promotion of food security. While giving control to individuals and local communities over genetic resources, farmers' rights should not exclude anyone with similar rights from the use of these resources. Finally, they should provide a solid basis for equitable benefit sharing. The authors conclude that farmers' rights contribute to making the legal system fairer, and that promoting the recognition of farmers' rights can make an enormous contribution to food security.
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