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Results of an Online conference on ‘Options for Farmers’ Rights’

Pistorius, Robin, Eng Siang Lim, Huib Ghijsen and Bert Visser (2009):
Results of an Online conference on ‘Options for Farmers’ Rights’
IT/GB-3/09/Inf. 6 Add.2


On the initiative of the Centre for Genetic Resources, The Netherlands (CGN) and the Community Technology Development Trust (CTDT, Zimbabwe) an on-line conference platform was opened (prior to the Third Session of the Governing Body of the Plant Treaty) to discuss legal options to facilitate the contribution of farmers to on-farm maintenance and development of plant genetic resources (titled Options for Farmers’ Rights). The initiative was taken in a search for agreed principles shared widely between major stakeholder groups, and with the ambition to present to the Governing Body alternative options for the implementation of Farmers’ Rights with their advantages and disadvantages. The output of the on-line consultation process, as well as the results of a number of farmers’ workshops held in parallel to the internet-based discussion in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe are summarized in this document and submitted to the Governing Body as an information document.

The document offers the output of the above mentioned discussions, summarizing the views and opinions contributed to the discussion regarding (a) the provisions of Article 9.1, 9.2 and 9.3, (b) options for the manner and mechanisms of adoption of Article 9 at the national level and (c) the possible implications of that adoption at the national level. Although the discussion covered Article 9 a whole, the participants went into great detail regarding the farmers’ ‘freedom to operate’ as reflected in 9.3.

The document can be downloaded here.
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