FAO's International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) provides for the realisation of Farmers' Rights, but it does not define the concept and there is uncertainty as to how this can be done.
Since March 2005, the Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI) has led the international Farmers' Rights Project, with affiliated experts in India, Peru and Ethiopia, aimed at providing an empirical basis for constructive proposals to ITPGRFA's Governing Body on how Farmers' Rights can be realised.
At a side event during the Governing Body's First Session in Madrid 12-16 June 2006, FNI Project Leader Regine Andersen presented the project's main conclusions so far:
- The active use of diverse plant genetic resources in agriculture is currently at risk in more and more countries. Various forms of legislation (like certification rules, intellectual property rights and access legislation) increasingly restrict farmers' legal space to continue these customary agricultural practices. Farmers' Rights represent a strategic instrument to create sufficient legal space within the legislative contexts in the various countries – to ensure that farmers' practices of maintaining agro-biodiversity can continue.
- With the rapid genetic erosion in agriculture, distinct incentive structures are needed to ensure further maintenance of plant genetic diversity. Farmers' Rights represent a strategic instrument also in this regard, as they involve rewarding farmers for their contributions to the global pool of genetic resources.
- There are different, and potentially conflicting, approaches to farmers' rights, which can be divided into two main directions of thought: The ownership approach emphasizes the right of farmers to be economically rewarded for genetic material obtained from their fields which is used in commercial varieties and/or protected with intellectual property rights. The stewardship approach, on the other hand, emphasizes the rights that farmers must be granted in order to enable them to continue as stewards of agricultural plant diversity. If the main objective of Farmers' Rights is to maintain agro-biodiversity and to eradicate poverty, then the stewardship approach is clearly the most suitable, and any measures to ensure farmers' ownership rights to plant genetic material should be subordinate to this.
Following the side event, Norway proposed in the Governing Body that Farmers' Rights be included in the programme of work, and requested the Secretariat to prepare for the consideration of this issue at the Second Session of the Governing Body. The proposal was supported by many developing countries and subsequently adopted.
– Farmers' rights have been a controversial issue since it was first brought up in the FAO in 1986, says Project Leader Regine Andersen.
– Our aim has been to build bridges across old controversies and seek to develop a common understanding of how these rights can be realised. The Farmers' Rights Project has succeeded in the endeavour and the results were very well received at the side event. Bringing farmers' rights back in on the agenda of the Governing Body provides unique opportunities to promote the realisation of these rights, she ends.
Regine Andersen | alfa
Raiding the rape field
23.05.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
New technique reveals details of forest fire recovery
17.05.2018 | DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences