Andersen, R. (2012). Plant genetic diversity in agriculture and farmers’ rights in Norway. (FNI Report 17/2012). Lysaker, Norway: The Fridtjof Nansen Institute.

See the norwegian version here: Andersen, Regine. (2011). Plantemangfold i jordbruket og bønders rettigheter i Norge. (FNI Report 11/2011). Lysaker, Norway: The Fridtjof Nansen Institute. 

Download the pdf in english here (PDF, 1MB) and in norwegian here (PDF, 1MB).

This report takes the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture as a point of departure and analyses achievements, gaps and needs with regard to its implementation in Norway, with focus on its provisions on farmers’ rights. Although much crop genetic diversity has been lost in Norway, substantial efforts are being made to save what is left, and to ensure farmers’ rights. Regulations on plant varieties and seed marketing represent some of the barriers, but much depends on how they will be implemented in the time to come. Traditional knowledge is disappearing, despite efforts to stop this. A consolidated strategy is lacking. Economic incentive structures are not yet in place, except for some ‘seed money’, so most of the work is based on pure idealism. Farmers involved in crop genetic diversity could participate more actively in decision making if they were better organized. The system of public consultation is seriously challenged by Norway’s EEA membership, due to the high ‘turnover’ of decisions requiring implementation at the national level, lack of transparency, and because Norwegian opinions on decisions from the EU carry so little weight. To achieve a say in these matters, it would probably be more useful to work together with other European organizations involved in this issue-area. Nevertheless, much has happened in recent years to facilitate the realization of farmers’ rights and enhance the pool of crop genetic resources available to farmers.