| STATE OF FARMERS' RIGHTS PER
Farmers' Rights and protection
of traditional knowledge
Protection of traditional
knowledge relevant to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture is one
of the possible measures for the implementation of Farmers' Rights, as set out
in Paragraph 9.2.a of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for
Food and Agriculture.
Most countries in the South which have
accounted for the protection of farmers' traditional knowledge relevant to
Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in their legislation have done
so through legislation pertaining to the protection of biological diversity in
general. Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Vietnam and Chile are examples here.
Several countries have provisions pertaining to the protection of farmers'
traditional knowledge in their regulations on access to genetic resources - for
example, the Philippines and Ethiopia. Some countries have accounted for such
protection in legislation pertaining to indigenous peoples, as in Peru. A few
countries have relevant provisions in their legislation on plant variety
protection. India has passed far-ranging legislation that deals explicitly with
Farmers' Rights in such a context. Several countries are in the process of
issuing legislation on Farmers' Rights, including the protection of farmers'
traditional knowledge. Nevertheless, little has been achieved in terms of
protection with regard to implementing such legislation.
legislation is more related to an ownership approach to Farmers' Rights, there
are also several measures that fall under a stewardship approach (more about the two approaches >).
Typically these concern documentation and maintenance of the knowledge and
activities related to gene banking. Many projects and programmes are being
carried out in the South, often by NGOs, and often supported by NGOs in the
North. They provide examples of how farmers' traditional knowledge can be
In the North, the picture is somewhat different: The
protection of farmers' traditional knowledge relevant to Plant Genetic
Resources for Food and Agriculture is usually not subject to legislation here,
but is dealt with in government programmes aimed at protecting such knowledge
from extinction. Such programmes are normally coordinated by the authorities,
but there are also examples of private initiatives in this
Success stories on traditional
knowledge related to agro-biodiversity
Pages in this
FARMERS' RIGHTS PER TOPIC
Equitable benefit sharing
Participation in decision
Rights to save,
use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed