Farmers' and breeders' access to genetic diversity is essential for food system sustainability. The implementation of international agreements regulating access to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture varies substantially between countries.
A new Noragric study examines why some countries implement a restrictive access governance regime, taking Ethiopia as a case.
Teshome Mulesa and Ola Westengen argue that research on the governance of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture at the national level requires us to look beyond the frameworks of the international agreements, to consider the historical, political and institutional factors within each country. They see that governance of access to these resources must be understood in connection with, and not in isolation from, intellectual property rights regimes and the historical, political and cultural role of these resources in the country in question.
Read more in the Journal of World Intellectual Property:
Against the grain? A historical institutional analysis of access governance of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in Ethiopia