To understand the provisions on Farmers' Rights in the International Treaty, it is useful to review the history of negotiations regarding these rights. Since Farmers' Rights were first taken up in international negotiations in 1986, important clarifications have been made.
How to reward farmers for their past, present and future contributions to conserving, improving and making available crop genetic resources for food and agriculture has been a central topic in the negotiations. An international fund for supporting and assisting farmers in this has long been on the agenda. Discussions have also focused on how Farmers' Rights can be balanced with breeders' rights, so as to ensure an equitable system that can facilitate continued access to crop genetic resources for farmers and safeguard their customary rights related to saving, using, exchanging and selling farm-saved seed. The documents from these negotiations represent the fruits of a long and complex process, and provide an important context for work on the realization of Farmers' Rights
In the articles listed below this one (see list in the box to the right), you can read about the history up to the adoption of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in 2001 (the more recent history is covered under International negotiations). This presentation is based on an FNI report on the history of Farmers' Rights and later publications on the topic by Regine Andersen.
Text: Regine Andersen