Farmers’ Rights in the Plant Treaty: interrelations and recent interactions with other international regimes and processes

Development Studies Research, Vol 11, No 1, published online 18.06.2024, 15 p. DOI: 0.1080/21665095.2024.2357095

The concept of Farmers’ Rights (FR) relating to crop genetic resources is covered by theInternational Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. However, Farmers’Rights is a weak concept in legal terms, providing limited recognition vis-à-vis competinginterests under stronger legal regimes. The realization of FRs in any given country will thereforedepend on interaction with, and shared understanding of, other international legal regimes towhich the countries in question are parties, to provide sufficient legal space. Recognition of theconcept of Farmers’ Rights was supported by the adoption in 2018 of the UN Declaration onthe Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP), which places it in ahuman rights context and with stronger expression of its various elements. However, UNDROPis not a legally binding instrument, and the question of how to provide sufficient legal spacethrough other international instruments is still relevant. This article discusses whether relevantinternational regimes, and UNDROP in particular, have interacted and contributed to therealization of Farmers Rights. It is concluded that there remains a need for outreach andcollaboration with other international instruments to remove the legal barriers involved.



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