Plant Genetic Diversity in Agriculture and Farmers’ Rights in Norway

FNI Report 17/2012. Lysaker, FNI, 2012, 119 p.

This report takes the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture as a point of departure and analyses achievements, gaps and needs with regard to its implementation in Norway, with focus on its provisions on farmers' rights. Allthough much of the crop genetic diversity has been lost in Norway, substantial efforts are made to save what is left, and to ensure farmers’ rights. The plant variety and seed marketing regulations provide some of the barriers in this work, but much depends on how they will be implemented in the time to come. Traditional knowledge is disappearing, despite efforts to stop this. A consolidated strategy for this purpose is lacking. Economic incentive structures are not yet in place, except for some ‘seed money’, and thus most of the work is based on pure idealism. Farmers invovled in crop genetic diversity could participate better in decision making if they were better organized. The hearing system is seriously challenged by the EEA-memebership, due to a high ‘turn-over’ of decisions to be implemented at the national level, lack of transparency, and since norwegian opinions have little to say against decisions from the EU. To have a say in these matters, it is probably more useful to link up with European organizations involved in the issue. Nevertheless, much has happened during the past years which support the realization of farmers’ rights and enhances the crop genetic diversity available to farmers.



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