FNI Report 9/2005. Lysaker, FNI, 2005, 117 p.
The Farmers’ Rights Project has been set up to facilitate a common understanding and develop an empirical basis for proposals to the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture on concrete measures to be taken to implement its provisions on farmers’ rights. This background study presents the findings of an international stakeholder survey on the topic. It gathers the perceptions and opinions of various stakeholders from all parts of the world, as expressed in 60 questionnaires from 31 countries. The survey gives an overview of the state of realization of farmers’ rights which shows that, despite the huge challenges ahead, efforts are already underway with regard to all issues addressed as farmers’ rights in the International Treaty. This indicates that there is already an opportunity for learning and for deriving models and success stories. The survey highlights the most important barriers to the realization of farmers’ rights, as perceived by the respondents, and pinpoints at the same time options for overcoming them. One of the barriers is the diffuse understanding of the concept of farmers’ rights. The survey compiles different interpretations and develops a common ground for the understanding and communication of farmers’ rights. It further identifies institutions and experts working for the realization of these rights, and indicates the potentials for pooling resources towards this goal. The survey indicates a potential path for the Governing Body to promote the realization of farmers’ rights while respecting the freedom of countries to choose ways and means according to their needs and priorities. This path has broad support among the respondents. The findings will be further deepened in the other background studies of The Farmers’ Rights Project. On this basis, conclusions will be derived in the final report from the project.