The role of community seed banks in achieving farmers’ rights

The conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources are the core objectives of the FAO's Convention on Biological Diversity and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, which links these goals explicitly to farmers’ rights.

Although farmers’ rights have been debated intensely at international level, their effective implementation at national level remains a major challenge. Community seed banks are good examples of effective implementation of those rights, but have received little attention in scientific literature and policy circles. In this study, cases from Bangladesh, Côte d’Ivoire, India and Zimbabwe illustrate how this knowledge gap can be filled.

Noragric PhD Fellow Teshome Hunduma Mulesa and colleagues argue that the evidence presented in this study differs from other research on farmers’ rights, as it is based on action research carried out by both researchers and practitioners, who are linking their field experience directly to national and international policy development. Most research has been based on desk analyses of farmers’ rights, aiming to promote conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

“I am happy that the article was published shortly after the 8th session of the Governing Body to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.  Farmers’ rights is one of the many issues that countries negotiated, and I hope our findings will contribute to the implementation of Farmers' Rights, which the Governing Body had been requesting over the past decade”, says Teshome

Read the article in Development in Practice:
The role of community seed banks in achieving farmers’ rights 

By Ronnie Vernooy, Teshome Hunduma Mulesa, Arnab Gupta, Jahangir Alam Jony, Kouablan Edmond Koffi, Hilton Mbozi, P.B. Singh, Pitambar Shrestha, Thabo T. Tjikana & C.L.K. Wakkumbure.

Published 30. March 2020 - 15:14 - Updated 30. March 2020 - 15:50