The Privatization of Crop Diversity
Chapter 6: Conclusions
This book sets out to test the proposition that global institutional reforms governing the present and future allocation of wealth from crop diversity are insufﬁcient—and in some respects inappropriate—to achieve international equity in terms of the way plant genetic resources are transferred, how agricultural research is conducted, and its beneﬁts are shared, the key reason for this being that such reforms disregard the important role of informal or farmers’ seed systems. In order to test the above proposition, this book has articulated three speciﬁc objectives, which focus on: the institutional limitations and systemic weaknesses of agricultural innovation systems in the context of the increasing commodiﬁcation of crop diversity; the developmental implications of changes in the legal status of resources and knowledge that arise from such commodiﬁcation; and the available options for improving the applicable legal framework with a view to making the law a real instrument to promote equity, development and sustainability in agriculture. 6.1 CROP DIVERSITY COMMODIFICATION: LIMITATIONS AND SYSTEMIC WEAKNESSES OF GLOBAL INSTITUTIONAL REFORMS In the ﬁeld of agriculture, the TRIPs Agreement leaves a remarkable degree of freedom for adjusting plant-related intellectual property legislation to domestic needs and promoting local innovation. However, the room for manoeuvre for developing countries may be quite narrow in practice. A growing number of developing countries has executed free trade and investment treaties with the US, the EU and other industrialized countries. In these treaties, they have agreed inter alia to provide patent protection for biotechnological...
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