| Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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What are Farmers' Rights?
When did the concept of Farmers' Rights
Why are Farmers' Rights
What is agricultural
What are plant genetic
resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA)?
What is genetic material?
What is ex situ conservation?
What is in situ conservation?
What are Farmers'
Farmers' Rights are basically about enabling farmers to
continue their work as stewards and innovators of agricultural biodiversity,
and about recognizing and rewarding them for their contribution to the global
pool of genetic resources. Farmers' Rights are addressed in the International
Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, but are not defined
there. However, measures to protect and promote these rights are suggested,
including the protection of traditional knowledge relevant to crop genetic
resources, the right of farmers to equitably participate in the sharing of
benefits arising from the utilization of crop genetic resources, and the right
to participate in decision making processes at the national level on matters
related to the conservation and sustainable use of these resources. Farmers'
Rights to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed and propagating material
are also addressed. Read more
When did the concept of Farmers'
Rights first appear?
The idea of Farmers' Rights came up in the
early 1980s as a countermove to the increased demand for plant breeders'
rights, as voiced in international negotiations. The purpose was to draw
attention to the unremunerated innovations of farmers that were seen as the
foundation of all modern plant breeding. The concept was first brought up in
international negotiations in 1986. Read
Why are Farmers' Rights
Farmers' Rights are a precondition for the maintenance of
crop genetic diversity, which is the basis of all food and agriculture
production in the world. Genetic diversity of agricultural plants is the very
basis of farming. It provides the pool from which plant traits can be found
which meet the challenges of crop pests and diseases, of marginal soils, and -
not least - of changing climate conditions. Genetic diversity is also vital for
spreading risks for smallholder farmers. Plant genetic diversity is probably
more important for farming than any other single environmental factor, simply
because it is the factor that enables adaptation to changing
environmental conditions. As farmers are custodians and developers of crop
genetic resources, their rights in this regard are crucial for enabling them to
maintain this vital role for local and global food security. The realization of
Farmers' Rights is therefore also a central means to achieving UN Millennium
Development Goal 1 on eradicating extreme hunger and poverty. Read more >
What is agricultural biodiversity?
agricultural biodiversity (also called agro-biodiversity) refers
to the diversity of plants and animals used for food and agriculture
What are plant genetic resources
for food and agriculture (PGRFA)?
PGRFA is defined in the
International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture as any
genetic material of plant origin of actual or potential value for food and
agriculture. This means that the genetic material of all the various crops
grown around the world today, as well as any genetic material that may prove to
be of value to food production and agriculture, are encompassed by the
What is genetic
Genetic material is defined in the International
Treaty as any material of plant origin, including reproductive and vegetative
propagating material, containing functional units of heredity. Seeds and
propagating material are genetic material.
is ex situ conservation?
Ex situ conservation means
conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture outside their
natural habitats. This often means conservation of seeds and propagating
material in gene banks.
What is in situ
In situ conservation means the conservation
of ecosystems and natural habitats and the maintenance and recovery of viable
populations of species in their natural surroundings and, in the case of
domesticated or cultivated plant species, in the surroundings where they have
developed their distinctive properties. For domesticated plants for food and
agriculture, this means in farmers' fields and in gardens.
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