Following the request made by the government and farmers’ organizations of Guatemala to support the rights of farmers to achieve food security and livelihood security of the most vulnerable population in the country, the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) commissioned a study to identify how the rights of farmers over their plant genetic resources and traditional knowledge, also known as farmers’ rights, can best be realized in practice.
This study follows on from work undertaken by GFAR to better reconcile farmers’ rights and plant breeders’ rights in the intellectual assets principles of the international agricultural research system (CGIAR). GFAR’s work showed that the two can be reconciled in practice and has led to a significant number of national demands for its application in national policies and practices.
The case study, started in May 2013 and concluded in December 2013, involved two main elements: i) legal support for the recognition of farmers’ rights in draft national policy of seeds; and ii) capacity-building and technical support to smallholder farmers’ organizations for the implementation of farmers’ rights.
The aim of this paper
is to document the participatory process undertaken in Guatemala, as a guide for future possible activities, projects and programmes supporting other countries seeking to implement farmers’ rights.