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Exploring the Feasibility of Farmers' Rights

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In many developing countries, there is concern that a conventional system of plant breeders' rights provides no rewards to farmers for their role in the conservation and enhancement of agro-biodiversity. To redress this imbalance, developing countries are incorporating farmers' rights provisions in their plant variety protection legislation. This article examines the feasibility of farmers' rights provisions based on intellectual property rights. It argues that the farmers' rights provisions crafted by some developing countries will involve enormous operational difficulties, while IPR-based farmers' rights are unlikely to provide significant economic returns to farmers or farming communities. At the same time, farmers' rights provisions, as currently conceived, are likely significantly to dilute the incentives for innovation provided to institutional plant breeders.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Reading, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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