Farmers' crop varieties and farmers' rights: challenges in taxonomy and law

Over the last 50 years there has been a growing appreciation of the important role that farmers play in the development and conservation of crop genetic diversity, and the contribution of that diversity to agro-ecosystem resilience and food security. This book examines policies that aim to increase the share of benefits that farmers receive when others use the crop varieties that they have developed and managed, i.e., ‘farmers varieties’. In so doing, the book addresses two fundamental questions.

The first question is ‘how do farmer management practices – along with other factors such as environment and the breeding systems of plants – affect the evolution and maintenance of discrete farmers’ varieties?’ The second question is ‘how can policies that depend on being able to identify discrete plant varieties accommodate the agricultural realities associated with the generation, use and maintenance of farmers’ varieties?’ This focus on discreteness is topical because there are no fixed, internationally recognized taxonomic or legal definitions of farmers’ varieties. And that presents a challenge when developing policies that involve making specific, discrete farmers’ varieties the subject of legal rights or privileges.

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1. Farmers' varieties and farmers' rights: challenges at the crossroads of agriculture, taxonomy and law

Part I: Dynamism in the field: factors affecting the evolution and maintenance of distinct traits in farmers' varieties

2. Technical challenges in identifying farmers' varieties

3. The farmers' role in creating new genetic diversity

Part II: Case studies at the interface of farmer variety enhancement efforts and national policies

4. Leveraging the successful participatory improvement of Pokhareli Jethobudho for national policy development in Nepal

5. Promoting policy support for the enhancement and marketing of farmers' varieties in Vietnam

6. Participatory barley breeding in Syria: policy bottlenecks and responses

Part III: The international policy context: global systems of conservation and use and farmers' rights

7. Historical context: evolving international cooperation on crop genetic resources

8. Farmers' rights: evolution of the international policy debate and national implementation

Part IV: Identifying discrete farmers' varieties in law

9. Sui generis protection for farmers' varieties 

10. Variety registration: the evolution of registration systems with a special emphasis on agrobiodiversity conservation

11. Defensive protection of farmers' varieties

12. Institutional capacity and implementation issues in farmers' rights

Part V: Case studies of national laws

13. Commentary on the Indian Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Act 2001

14. Commentary on the Malaysian Protection of New Plant Varieties Act 2004

15. Commentary on Egypt's plant variety protection regime

16. Commentary on Thailand's Plant Varieties Protection Act

17. Commentary on the Zambian Plant Breeder's Rights Act

18. Commentary on the Nepalese Seeds Act and the Seeds Regulation

19. Commentary on plant variety regulation in the United States of America

20. Commentary on the Brazilian seed law

21. Commentary on variety registration regulation in Italy

22. Commentary on the Zambian Plant Variety and Seeds Act 1998

23. Commentary on the regulation on production management of farm households' plant varieties in Vietnam

24. Commentary on the registry of native crops in Peru: Law 28477 and the registry of native potatoes

25. Commentary on the draft proposal for the establishment of a native seeds registry in Costa Rica

26. Commentary on the registration of traditional varieties in Benin

Halewood, M. (ed.)
Issues in Agricultural Biodiversity
406 p.
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