Farmers may be enabled to gain access to a wide range of PGRFA by facilitating access to PGRFA from publicly held collections of national, regional or international genebanks, research institutes and, universities, which may also include PGRFA developed by the private sector. Such collections are commonly used by plant breeders and researchers, but they may also serve interested farmers and gardeners, or local and indigenous communities. Providing small quantities of seed or planting materials to interested farmers and/or their groups and organizations for direct use may also be of interest for the holders or owners of collections to ensure dynamic conservation and enhanced use.

PGRFA that are of interest for farmers may include traditional varieties or landraces of certain crops, for example those collected in other geographical areas, as well as formerly protected varieties that are made available for further conservation and use. Women and men may be interested in different types of accessions, depending on the crops they grow, the production objectives and the farming and/or post-harvest activities they engage in. Such differences may need be considered to serve all farmers equally.

Community seed banks, seed saver networks, research organizations and/or other types of groups and organizations may serve as intermediaries to assist farmers in accessing PGRFA from collections. Specific procedures may be required for farmers to obtain such materials. For example, Biocultural Community Protocols can be used to promote those communities’ collective interests and capacities to identify and access useful PGRFA from national and international PGRFA collections.

Information may be presented in a way that facilitates use by farmers, or simplified Material Transfer Agreements may need to be established, based on and in conformity with the SMTA of the International Treaty, where it applies. Such agreements may be designed in a way to ensure that they do not limit Farmers’ Rights, including rights to save, use, exchange and sell seed of the material obtained, subject to national law and as appropriate, or that they do not establish any obligations for farmers to return any material after it has been grown in their fields, or to provide information

Example(s) of possible measures:

  • Varieties for Diversity (Germany/Europe). Click here
  • Distribution of plant genetic resources conserved in the National Center for Plant Genetic Resources of the National Institute of Agricultural and Food Research and Technology (CRFINIA) to farmers for direct use (Spain/Europe). Click here
  • Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) (USA/North America). Click here
  • Safeguarding threatened coconut diversity within the upgraded International Coconut Genebank for the South Pacific (Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa/South-West Pacific). Click here
  • Enhancing capacity for climate change adaptation by helping farmers to access genetic resources from the multilateral system of access and benefit sharing (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania/Africa). Click here