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Jun 04, 2009

Countries demand greater agricultural rights

by Krista Stryker — last modified Jun 04, 2009 11:06 AM

The FAO Seed Treaty would address the issues of the global agricultural system.

The International Planning Committee on Food Sovereignty (IPC) met recently to decide the future of the FAO Seed Treaty (ITPGRFA), an agreement seeking to address the issues of the global agricultural system by protecting seed diversity and implementing peasants' rights.  The debate was an important milestone ahead of the scheduled food crisis summit in Rome in November and the UN climate summit in Copenhagen in December. 

25 countries, representing peasant, pastoralist, and indigenous organizations took part in the treaty negotiations.  After two days, the representatives demanded the following:

  • In light of the food emergency there must be a suspension of all intellectual property rights and other regulations that prevent farmers from saving and exchanging non-GMO seed.
  • There must be a major financial commitment to save seed in the field, for the conservation of genetic diversity in the field, and to prevent and monitor biopiracy.
  • There must be an end to the monopoly practices of multinational seed companies who are controlling seeds.
  • Governments must involve farmers in decision making every step of the way, and  must implement the treaty’s decision on Farmers’ Rights.

Read the full statement released by Friends of the Earth International, the International Coordination Committee, La Via Campesina and many others here.