Farmers' Rights
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State of Farmers' Rights per topic

Progress is being made with regard to all measures addressed in the provisions on Farmers' Rights in the International Treay on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. The activities that have so far contributed most to protecting traditional knowledge related to crop genetic resources concern documentation and maintenance of knowledge, and activities related to gene banking. These are activities aimed at protecting such traditional knowledge against extinction. There are many examples of non-monetary benefit sharing such as access to seed and propagating material, participatory plant breeding and conservation activities. Such benefit sharing takes place among farmers who contribute to the maintenance and development of genetic resources, and is not related to whether farmers contributed with their seeds to the development of specific commercial varieties.

As for farmers' participation in decision making, the countries in the north can show to long-standing experience, although farmers claim that their influence is decreasing also here, due to their countries commitments to international and regional agreements. Farmers' Rights to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed are increasingly negatively affected by regulations on plant breeders' rights, the certification of seeds for sale and other regulations of the seed market. There are, however, examples of countries moving in a different direction in this regard.

However, there are many and substantial barriers to the realization of Farmers' Rights, particularly with regard to legislation and incentive structures. Analysing these barriers together with the progress made in many countries, allows us to derive options for the realization of Farmers' Rights.

Read more about the state of Farmers' Rights with regard to:
   Protection of traditional knowledge
   Equitable benefit sharing
   Participation in decision processes
   Rights to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed
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 In this section:
  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