The concept of Farmers’ Rights recognized the role of farmers as custodians of biodiversity and helped to draw attention to the need to preserve practices that are essential for sustainable agriculture. This paper examines one particular aspect of such rights, perhaps the most controversial. It deals with the component of farmers’ rights referring to the use, exchange and sale of farm-saved seeds. Although that concept was initially introduced in 1989 with the aim of balancing the rights of farmers as breeders and of commercial plant breeders, a specific reference to the rights relating to seeds was only introduced upon the conclusion of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) in 2001.
Growing Coalition to Intensify Efforts to Address Global Antimicrobial Resistance
The South Centre supports increased global and national level advocacy for policy change and action to prevent the post-antibiotic era from becoming a bleak reality. This effort is being strengthened with the recent addition of five leading environmental and public health organizations to the Antibiotic Resistance Coalition (ARC). The ARC is an independent coalition of members from six continents working in health, agriculture, consumer, and development sectors. (more…)
The WTO’s Special and Differential Treatment Negotiations (Paragraph 44)
Paragraph 44 of the 2001 Doha Ministerial Declaration mandates the ‘strengthening’ of Special and Differential Treatment (S&D) provisions in the WTO Agreement, and making them ‘more precise, effective and operational’. This Note tracks the evolution of these negotiations from the start of the Doha Round in 2001 until the Nairobi Ministerial in December 2015. (more…)
The WTO’s Agriculture Domestic Supports Negotiations
The historical problems in agriculture continue today. Developed countries with the financial capacity continue to subsidise their farmers and export these agricultural products. This has also been enabled by the Uruguay Round through large AMS entitlements for mostly developed countries ($19 billion for US and now about $95 billion for EU27), as well as the Green Box (Annex 2 of the Agreement on Agriculture). (more…)
WTO’s MC10: Agriculture Negotiations– Public Stockholding
Public stockholding programmes have over the past decades proven themselves to be very effective instruments for supporting domestic producers in agricultural production. Studies have shown that in
fact, countries that are still in the process of development, where markets are not well developed, need such public stockholding programmes to support their farmers.
Many developing countries do have these programmes. This non-exhaustive list (more…)
WTO’s MC10: Agriculture Negotiations – Special Safeguard in Agriculture for Developing Countries
The agricultural safeguard is important for developing countries. Most developed countries already have access to a special agricultural safeguard as a result of the Uruguay Round negotiations, and
some of them have actively utilised this Special Safeguard Provisions (SSG) through the past 20 years.
Developing countries require a similar instrument because of the many agricultural import surges taking place. (more…)
This note provides a brief on Export Competition and the four issues that it covers:
With respect to export subsidies, the EU, the Member with the largest export subsidy entitlements applies zero export subsidies under its Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020. Commitments to bind export subsidies at zero are therefore a step in the right direction but the extent of its value is limited. The Green Box remains undisciplined (more…)
Towards a More Coherent International Legal System on Farmers’ Rights: The Relationship of the FAO ITPGRFA, UPOV and WIPO
This Policy Brief outlines some key areas of interrelation among the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). (more…)