Options for encouraging income-generating activities
This is the third category of options to encourage, guide and promote the realization of Farmers’ Rights in the Options Document. It comprises options for approaches to encourage income-generating activities to support farmers’ conservation and sustainable use of PGRFA.
About this categoy of options
In Art. 9.1 of the International Treaty, the Contracting Parties recognize the enormous contribution that the local and indigenous communities and farmers of all regions of the world have made and will continue to make for the conservation and development of PGRFA, which constitute the basis of food and agriculture production (Art. 9.1). Approaches that facilitate and promote farmers’ income generation from the conservation and sustainable use of PGRFA could thus act as an incentive for farmers to continue and/or expand such activities.
Contracting Parties have also agreed to take measures to protect and promote Farmers’ Rights, including the protection of traditional knowledge relevant to PGRFA (Art. 9.2a) and equitable participation in sharing benefits arising from their utilization (Art. 9.2b).
By raising awareness on the multiple values of locally produced diverse food and supporting income-generating activities, such as value-chain development, farmers may be enabled to continue cultivating PGRFA that would otherwise be at risk of being lost, and to continue using, sharing and disseminating related traditional knowledge. Depending on how activities are set up, benefits arising from the use of PGRFA, e.g. through sales of specific products, may accrue to those farmers who engage in activities for their conservation and sustainable use.
Rights that farmers have to save, use, exchange and sell seed, subject to national law and as appropriate (as referred to in Art. 9.3), may be of crucial importance for the successful implementation of such approaches, given that farmers’ seed systems are often the only source of seed and planting material for the specific PGRFA that are utilized in such activities.
Depending on how measures under this category are set up, other provisions of Art. 9 may also be relevant.
There are three options:
- Option 3A: Conduct and/or support promotional activities to strengthen sustainable consumption for products derived from the conservation and sustainable use of PGRFA.
- Option 3B: Develop value-chains for local crops, varieties and evolutionary populations with specific adaptation, nutritional value, uses or other benefits.
- Option 3C: Create and support markets for products issued from farmers’ varieties/farmers’ seed systems.