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What is a 'success story' of Farmers' Rights?

By success stories we mean projects or activities that have resulted in substantial achievements with regard to one or more of the suggestions for the realization of Farmers' Rights addressed in the International Treaty. These projects or activities are not necessarily 'perfect': problems or challenges encountered on the way can also stand as lessons from which others can learn. The main criterion is that significant achievements have been made, and that these can provide inspiration for others.

Achievements can be made at very different levels. It is often important to define intermediate goals on the way, smaller, more readily achievable steps leading towards that larger goal. In this sense, not only achievements of ultimate goals are relevant as success stories in our context. Also the smaller steps on the way to that goal - reaching partial goals of various kinds - can be seen as significant achievements that can inspire and motivate other stakeholders to take further steps. Here we have gathered stories of smaller and greater successes, to display the wide range of achievements already being made on the path to the realization of Farmers' Rights.

When the suggestions addressed in the International Treaty for the realization of Farmers' Rights are taken as the point of departure for identifying success stories, what does this mean in operational terms? We are particularly looking for success stories that tell about:

1) policies or initiatives enabling farmers to save, use, exchange, and sell farm-saved seed;

2) projects or initiatives on traditional knowledge related to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture - such as projects documenting traditional knowledge to be shared among farmers in order to avoid loss of such knowledge; or projects to protect farmers' traditional knowledge against misappropriation while also ensuring that such knowledge can be shared;

3) benefit-sharing measures - such as national-level funding mechanisms that support farmers in conserving and sustainably using plant genetic resources; participatory plant breeding projects resulting in added value to farmers' varieties; community gene banks that are effectively used in farmers' breeding or farming strategies; marketing strategies to create a demand for diverse crop products; other incentive structures to motivate conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources; recognition of farmers' contributions, for example in the form of awards, or other measures;

4) farmers' participation in decision-making, for example involving farmers in national consultative processes related to the management of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, or more specifically to Farmers' Rights; capacity-building activities leading to greater involvement of farmers in relevant decision-making; or advocacy by farmers' organizations leading to improved policies on genetic resources and Farmers' Rights. Also awareness-raising of the important role played by farmers in conserving and developing PGRFA is relevant here.
Thus, Farmers' Rights are critical to ensuring the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources for food and agriculture and consequently for food security – today and in the future. Farmers' Rights are also a central means in the fight against rural poverty in developing countries.

Read more:
   What are successes regarding the right to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed?
   What are successes regarding traditional knowledge related to agro-biodiversity?
   What are successes regarding benefit sharing?
   What are successes regarding participation in decision making?
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 In this section:
  What is a 'success story' of FR?
  Success stories from the realization of the right to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed
  Success stories on traditional knowledge related to agro-biodiversity
  Success stories on benefit-sharing measures
  Success stories on participation in decision making
  Common features

Photo: Pratap Shrestha, Nepal