Options for farmers’ access to crop diversity (CSOs etc.)
This is the sixth category of options to encourage, guide and promote the realization of Farmers’ Rights in the Options Document. It comprises options for the facilitation of farmers’ access to a diversity of PGRFA through community seed banks, seed networks and other measures improving farmers’ choices of a wider diversity of PGRFA.
About this category of options
In the International Treaty, Contracting Parties recognize the enormous contribution that the local and indigenous communities and farmers of all regions of the world, particularly those in the centres of origin and crop diversity, have made and will continue to make for the conservation and development of PGRFA (Art. 9.1).
Facilitating farmers’ access to a diversity of PGRFA, including for example traditional and/or new varieties, evolutionary populations or accessions from genebanks or research institutes may encourage farmers, local and indigenous communities to continue and/or expand their efforts.
Options under this category may also contribute to the protection of traditional knowledge (Art. 9.2.a), for example by documenting, sharing, reviving or developing further farmers’ knowledge relating to seed. They may further contribute to strengthening rights farmers have to save, use, exchange and/or sell seeds, subject to national law and as appropriate (Art. 9.3), by revitalizing farmers’ traditional practices of dynamically and collectively managing seed and varieties or developing new ones.
Depending on how measures under this category are set up, other provisions of Art. 9 may also be relevant.
There are four options:
- Option 6A: Establish and/or support community seed banks, seed clubs, seed houses, seed-saver networks or similar approaches.
- Option 6B: Organize and/or support farmers’ seed festivals and fairs.
- Option 6C: Facilitate farmers’ access to material from genebanks, research institutes, universities and the private sector.
- Option 6D: Support farmers’ seed systems and innovation.