Farmers' Rights
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KEY BARRIERS TO FARMERS' RIGHTS:

Barriers to farmers' participation in decision-making

Farmers' participation in decision-making will necessarily have to be approached differently according to the political situation in the specific country. An important question is how to determine who the legitimate representatives of farmers are. The way in which farmers' unions and institutions are organized is crucial to enable legitimacy. Difficulties in establishing legitimate representation constitute a barrier to farmers' participation in some countries, perhaps in many.

A related problem is that there may be low awareness on Farmers' Rights among farmers themselves. It seems that farmers often become truly aware of their rights related to seed and propagating material only when these rights are gone (as has been the case in Europe) - and that may be too late. Thus, even if farmers are represented in decision-making, it may not always contribute to preventing the reduction of Farmers' Rights.

A particular problem in terms of decision-making concerns bio-safety. If farmers' fields are infested with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) without their consent, this constitutes a barrier to self-determination with regard to choice of seed, and may even alter farmers' traditional varieties. The important point is not whether the policies of a country are favourable to GMOs, but how to ensure the self-determination of farmers to choose technology themselves. The lack of mechanisms to ensure this constitutes one central barrier to farmers' participation in decision-making - related to their own holdings and fields.



Pages in this sub-section:
   KEY BARRIERS TO FARMERS' RIGHTS
   Stakeholder perceptions on barriers to the realization of Farmers' Rights
   Barriers to upholding and developing legal space for Farmers' Rights
   Barriers to incentives, rewards and recognition
   Barriers to farmers' participation in decision-making
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 In this section:
  STATE OF FARMERS' RIGHTS
  State of Farmers' Rights per topic
  State of Farmers' Rights per country
  Key barriers to Farmers' Rights
  Options for realizing Farmers' Rights

Photo: Development Fund