Intellectual Property Rights and the Realization of Farmers’ Rights under the ITPGRFA – A Conflict?


The new policy brief published by APBREBES speaks about the contradictions between the right that farmers have to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed/propagating material and the Breeders Rights in line with the 1991 Convention of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 91). Those contradictions are a major concern in the negotiations for the realization of Farmers' Rights under the ITPGRFA. Since the majority of the ITPGRFA Parties are not members of UPOV, the AHTEG, working under the treaty to develop options to encourage, guide, and promote the realization of Farmers’ Rights, should only consider proposals that fully implement farmers’ right to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed/propagating materiel. The AHTEG should also build synergies with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).  The need for compatibility with UPOV 1991 has been rejected by the Governing Body of the ITPGRFA and hence should not be the benchmark for any proposal concerning implementation of Farmers’ Rights.