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What is Plant Treaty?


The ninth session of the governing body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) has recently begun in New Delhi.


GS II: Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and agreements involving India

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is the Plant Treaty?
  2. Aims
  3. Key provisions

What is the Plant Treaty?

  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations adopted the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) on November 3, 2001.
  • It was drafted in Madrid in 2001 and went into effect on June 29, 2004.
  • As the longtime guardians of the world’s food crops, indigenous people and small-holder farmers have made great contributions, and this document is the first legally binding international agreement to do so.
  • It also urges governments to safeguard and support people’s rights to preserve and utilise the seeds they have nurtured for millennia.
  • After almost three years, the parties to this treaty have gathered to talk about the governance of agricultural biodiversity and global food security.
Theme 2022:

The theme of the meeting is ‘Celebrating the Guardians of Crop Diversity: Towards an Inclusive Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework’.

  • Guaranteeing food security through the conservation
  • Exchange and sustainable use of the world’s plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA)
  • Fair and equitable benefit sharing arising from its use, as well as
  • Recognition of farmers’ rights.

Key provisions:

  • The treaty established a Multilateral System (MLS) of access and benefit sharing among the ratifying nations for a list of 64 of the most significant food and forage crops necessary for interdependence and food security.
  • The treaty’s Annex 1 lists the genera and species.
  • The treaty facilitates the continued open exchange of food crops and their genetic materials.
  • Major food crops and forages are included in the list of plant genetic material covered by the Multilateral System of the Treaty.
  • Legume forages and grass forages are other divisions of the forages.
  • They were chosen based on standards for food security and interdependence across nations.

-Source: Down to Earth

November 2023