The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture facilitates the sharing of seeds for the world’s food crops (such as rice or maize). It is primarily an agricultural and environmental treaty, but it also contains several provisions referring to intellectual property.
For instance, the treaty:
- recognizes the rights of farmers and protects their traditional knowledge;
- facilitates easier access to the plant genetic resources for food and agriculture which are protected by intellectual property rights;
- establishes a balanced and fair sharing of financial and other benefits which arise from marketing the products of an agrarian food crop seed.
The governing body is the highest organ of the treaty and is responsible for its implementation. To facilitate the sharing of seeds, it has adopted a Standard Material Transfer Agreement. This agreement regulates access to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture as well as how the benefits which arise from the use of the seeds are shared.
International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PDF)
Dispatch on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PDF in German)
The Standard Material Transfer Agreement (PDF)
Dispatch on Plant Variety Protection Act (PDF in German)
Law on the protection of new plant varieties (PDF in German)
Ordinance to the law on the protection of new plant varieties (PDF in German)
UPOV Convention, revised version 1978
UPOV Convention, revised version 1991
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
FAO to Plant Genetic Resources
International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA)
UN special rapporteur on the right to food
Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) for plant varieties protection
FAO Guide on Legislating for the Right to Food
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