1st Edition

Realising Farmers' Rights to Crop Genetic Resources Success Stories and Best Practices

Edited By Regine Andersen, Tone Winge Copyright 2013
    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    Farmers' Rights are essential for maintaining crop genetic diversity, which is the basis of all food and agricultural production in the world. The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture recognizes Farmers' Rights and provides for relevant measures. However, implementation is slow, and in many countries there is resistance. 

    This book shows the necessity of realizing Farmers' Rights for poverty alleviation and food security, the practical possibilities of doing so, and the potential gains for development and society at large. It provides decision-makers and practitioners with a conceptual framework for understanding Farmers’ Rights and success stories showing how each of the elements of Farmers' Rights can be realized in practice. The success stories have brought substantial achievements as regards one or more of the four elements of Farmers' Rights: the rights of farmers to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed; the protection of traditional knowledge; benefit- sharing; and participation in decision-making. 

    This does not mean that these examples are perfect. Challenges encountered on the way are conveyed and offer important lessons. The stories represent different regions and localities, including Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as various categories of stakeholders and types of initiatives and policies.

    Part 1: Introduction 

    1. Crop Genetic Diversity and Farmers’ Rights 

    Regine Andersen 

    2. What Constitutes a Success Story in the Context of Farmers’ Rights? 

    Regine Andersen and Tone Winge 

    Part 2: Success Stories from the Realization of Farmers’ Rights to Save, Use, Exchange and Sell Farm-saved Seed 

    3. Norway’s Path to Ensuring Farmers’ Rights in the European Context 

    Regine Andersen 

    4. Conservation of Local Varieties in the Basque Country in Spite of Legal Restrictions 

    Tone Winge and Helen Groome 

    5. Combining Farmers’ Rights and Plant Variety Protection in the Indian Law 

    Tone Winge, Regine Andersen and Anitha Ramanna-Pathak 

    Part 3: Success Stories from the Protection of Traditional Knowledge 

    6 Cataloguing Potato Varieties and Traditional Knowledge from the Andean Highlands of Huancavelica, Peru 

    Maria Scurrah, Stef de Haan and Tone Winge 

    7. A Community Registry in the Philippines 

    Regine Andersen, Teresita H. Borromeo and Nestor C. Altoveros

    Part 4: Success Stories from the Realization of Farmers’ Rights to Participate in Benefit Sharing 

    8. Participatory Barley Breeding in Syria 

    Salvatore Ceccarelli, Stefania Grando and Tone Winge 

    9. Benefiting from Diversity in Nepal 

    Tone Winge, Regine Andersen and Pratap Shrestha

    10. Community Seed Fairs in Zimbabwe 

    Robert Chakanda, Andrew Mushita and Tone Winge 

    11. Farmer Innovation in Tigray, Ethiopia 

    Fetien Abay, Åsmund Bjørnstad and Tone Winge 

    12. Capacity Building and Farmer Empowerment in Mali 

    Mamadou Goïta, Modibo Goïta, Mohamed Coulibaly and Tone Winge 

    13. The Hiroshima Agricultural Gene Bank: Re-introducing Local Varieties, Maintaining Traditional Knowledge 

    Yoshiaki Nishikawa and Tone Winge 

    Part 5: Success Stories from Farmers’ Participation in Decision-making 

    14. Advocacy for Farmers’ Rights in Nepal 

    Tone Winge, Kamalesh Adhikari and Regine Andersen 

    Part 6: Ways Forward 

    15. Future Prospects for the Realization of Farmers’ Rights 

    Regine Andersen and Tone Winge 



    Regine Andersen is a Senior Research Fellow at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Lysaker, Norway. 

    Tone Winge is a Research Fellow at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Lysaker, Norway.

    "This book meticulously documents the progress of initiatives undertaken to shape the Farmers' Rights described in the International Treaty, taking the need to provide legal space for Farmers' Rights as the point of departure. With its suggestions for future work, it is a wealth of information for all concerned about and engaged in strengthening farmers' continuing role in maintaining crop diversity." – Bert Visser, Centre for Genetic Resources, Wageningen University and Research Centre, The Netherlands 

    "This book is indispensable for decision-makers and practitioners dealing with agriculture and food production. It illustrates from the theory to the practice how Farmers' Rights can and need to be implemented in order to ensure the continuous conservation and development of agro-biodiversity in the twenty-first century. As such it is a milestone for the realization of Farmers' Rights." José Esquinas-Alcázar, Director and Chair of Studies on Hunger and Poverty, University of Córdoba, Spain and Former Secretary of the FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture 

    "This is an excellent book for people who are interested in knowing what Farmers’ Rights can actually look like on the ground. By presenting success stories, Andersen and Winge take a positive, proactive approach to analyzing achievements in an area that is still, unfortunately, fraught with challenges, setbacks and relatively slow progress. A wide range of actors involved in Farmer Rights’ advocacy and policy development at local, national and international levels will benefit from the case studies and overall analysis this book provides." – Michael Halewood, Head, Policy Research Unit, Bioversity International, Italy