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First Global Symposium on Farmers' Rights: President to Inaugurate on 12th September at ICAR Convention Centre, NASC Complex, New Delhi
Agriculture Event News

First Global Symposium on Farmers’ Rights: President to Inaugurate on 12th September at ICAR Convention Centre, NASC Complex, New Delhi

The President of India, Droupadi Murmu, is set to inaugurate the first-ever ‘Global Symposium on Farmers’ Rights’ (GSFR) at the ICAR Convention Centre, National Agricultural Science Centre Complex in New Delhi, on 12th September.

This prestigious event will see the participation of key dignitaries, including Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Kailash Choudhary, and Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shobha Karandlaje.

The Global Symposium on Farmers’ Rights is organized by the Secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (International Treaty), a subsidiary of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome.

It is being hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in collaboration with the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPVFR) Authority, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), and ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR). India is privileged to host this landmark event from September 12 to 15, 2023.

A Curtain Raiser press meet was held today by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer’s Welfare (MoAFW) and the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPVFR) Authority, shedding light on the significance of the GSFR. Dr. T. Mohapatra, Chairperson of the PPVFR Authority, proudly shared that India holds the distinction of being the first country in the world to incorporate Farmers’ Rights within the framework of Plant Variety Registration through its Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPVFR) Act of 2001.

He emphasized the global participation of eminent scientists and resource persons from 59 countries, who will engage in discussions on recognizing and rewarding the invaluable contributions of local and indigenous communities and farmers worldwide to the conservation and development of plant genetic resources (PGR). Dr. Mohapatra underscored the critical role of plant genetic resources in addressing malnutrition, climate change, and achieving enhanced agricultural productivity.

Rakesh Ranjan, Special Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW), highlighted that the proposal to host the first GSFR was initiated by the Government of India during the Ninth Session of the Governing Body (GB9) of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture in September 2022, and was subsequently approved by FAO. He emphasized the interconnected nature of Farmers’ Rights and the necessity for a shared understanding to pave the way forward.

Takayuki Hagewara, FAO Representative in India, commended India for successfully organizing the recent G20 Summit and emphasized the importance of diversity in ensuring stability, particularly in the context of biodiversity, which is vital for supporting life and food security. He acknowledged the significance of the GSFR in promoting farmers’ and food security.

Kent Nnadozie, Secretary of ITPGRFA, stressed the central role of farmers as intermediaries between seeds and food security. He highlighted Article 9 of the Treaty, which focuses on recognizing, realizing, and promoting Farmers’ Rights concerning plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA). Mr. Nnadozie called for the protection of indigenous knowledge and the relevance of seed diversity in addressing global challenges, expressing India’s valuable experience in addressing common issues through collaboration.

Agricultural Commissioner, MoAFW, P.K. Singh stated that Farmers provide food security to the world. Plant breeder rights and farmers rights are part of the PPVFR Act 2001and Section 39 has all provisions for Farmers Rights. India has a leading role with respect to Farmers Rights.

Dr. P.L. Gautam, former Chairperson of the PPVFR Authority, provided historical context, highlighting the critical role of the FAO Treaty in addressing issues left unattended by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in the early 1990s. India played a pivotal role in negotiating these crucial aspects.

Pankaj Yadav, Joint Secretary (Seeds), revealed that the President would inaugurate the newly constructed ‘Plant Authority Bhawan’ and an online plant variety ‘Registration Portal.’ The ceremony would also include the presentation of the Farmers’ Award, recognizing ‘Plant Genome Saviour Communities’ and ‘Plant Genome Saviour Farmers of India’ for the years 2021 and 2022, as per the provisions of the PPVFR Act, 2001.

The Global Symposium on Farmers’ Rights promises to be a landmark event that brings together global experts and stakeholders to address the critical issues related to farmers’ contributions and rights in plant genetic resources, ultimately contributing to global food security and agricultural sustainability.

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