International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (adopted in 2001)
Farmers’ Rights are critical to ensuring the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and consequently for food security – today and in the future. In its Article 9, the International Treaty recognises the enormous contribution that the local and indigenous communities and farmers of all regions of the world, particularly those in the centres of origin and crop diversity, have made and will continue to make for the conservation and development of plant genetic resources which constitute the basis of food and agriculture production throughout the world. It gives governments the responsibility for implementing Farmers’ Rights, and lists measures that could be taken to protect, promote and realise these rights:
- The protection of traditional knowledge relevant to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture;
- The right to equitably participate in sharing benefits arising from the utilisation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture;
- The right to participate in making decisions, at the national level, on matters related to the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture; and
- The right that farmers have to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed/propagating material, subject to national law and as appropriate.
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