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Access and benefit sharing of genetic resources
April 16th, 2016

In a special issue of Farming Matters, ILEIA and Bioversity International embark on a joint effort to document lessons learned in access and benefit sharing of genetic resources for and by family farmers. Why is this necessary? For family farmers, maintaining biodiversity is an essential pillar of their strategies. This is all the more so … Read moreAccess and benefit sharing of genetic resources

Access and benefit sharing of genetic resources for family farmers: Theory and practice
April 16th, 2016

Only a small number of governments have established meaningful and effective farmer-centred measures for the implementation of access and benefit sharing of genetic resources. One reason is the highly complex nature of the international regulatory system. This special issue of Farming Matters magazine presents practical ways in which access and benefit sharing for family farmers … Read moreAccess and benefit sharing of genetic resources for family farmers: Theory and practice

Improving access to vegetable seeds for resilient family farms in Costa Rica
April 16th, 2016

A group of coffee farmers in Turrialba, Costa Rica, is successfully exploring diversification options with horticultural food crops. This is being done in collaboration with two vegetable seed banks that allow farmers to use varieties freely under the multilateral system of FAO´s International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Experiments with tomato … Read moreImproving access to vegetable seeds for resilient family farms in Costa Rica

Interview: “The ABS system could be a thousand times simpler”
April 16th, 2016

Since 1991, François Meienberg has worked on access and benefit sharing (ABS), intellectual property rights and agriculture for the Berne Declaration. In this interview, Mr Meienberg reflects on the implementation of the ABS system so far. “We have to look for a kind of system which protects one kind of innovation without destroying the other.” … Read moreInterview: “The ABS system could be a thousand times simpler”

Evolutionary populations: Living gene banks in farmers’ fields in Iran
April 16th, 2016

Efforts to rapidly increase on-farm biodiversity are a matter of urgency in an era of climate change. To do so, farmers need better access to the genetic material of research stations and gene banks. Collaboration with scientists who are willing and able to work together with farmers is crucial. The Evolutionary Plant Breeding programme in … Read moreEvolutionary populations: Living gene banks in farmers’ fields in Iran

Seed banks and national policy in Brazil
April 16th, 2016

Increasingly, seeds are the domain of professional breeders, agribusiness and policy makers. They decide what makes for a good variety and they develop legislation that excludes other varieties. Despite this, farmer organisations and social movements in Paraíba, Brazil, have managed to strengthen decentralised farmer-driven seed selection and distribution systems and public seed policies. They may … Read moreSeed banks and national policy in Brazil

Potato breeding in the Netherlands: successful collaboration between farmers and commercial breeders
April 16th, 2016

The Dutch potato breeding model, which involves a partnership between farmers and commercial breeding companies in a modern, Western context, is unique. While there are other examples of collaborative relationships between farmers and breeders in Europe, the Dutch potato breeding model stands out in terms of its long track record, the involvement of the private … Read morePotato breeding in the Netherlands: successful collaboration between farmers and commercial breeders

Implementing access and benefit sharing in eight countries
April 16th, 2016

Since 2012, national teams in eight countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America have been identifying options for policy, legal and administrative mechanisms for the implementation of the multilateral system of access and benefit sharing (MLS) for plant genetic resources. This article summarises if and how access and benefit sharing has been strengthened in the … Read moreImplementing access and benefit sharing in eight countries

Access and benefit sharing in participatory plant breeding in Southwest China
April 16th, 2016

This contribution discusses access and benefit sharing within the context of participatory plant breeding. It presents how Chinese farmers and breeders collaborate in relation to crop improvement and on-farm maintenance of plant genetic resources. Based on more than a decade of action-research, a number of institutional changes were accomplished as a result of the interactions … Read moreAccess and benefit sharing in participatory plant breeding in Southwest China

Industry benefits but does not pay its dues. Patents are an assault on genetic resources
April 16th, 2016

Patents increasingly undermine the strong legal edifice patiently constructed by UPOV (1). However, the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture guarantees free access to the main industrial resource of plant breeders – peasants’ seeds collected from farms across the world. This article argues that broadening the reach of patents over genetic … Read moreIndustry benefits but does not pay its dues. Patents are an assault on genetic resources