Author: Semences, Normes et Paysans (SNP), 2017
Topics: Dialogue, informal seed system, traditional varieties, farmers’ rights, International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Agriculture and Food (ITPGRFA)

From 11 to 13 September, 2017, a multi-stakeholder consultation was held on traditional and farmer seeds at the Practical Forest Training Center of Tabakoro. Under the chairmanship of the Ministry of Agriculture of Mali, the workshop recorded the participation of representatives of the Ministry of higher education and scientific research (MESRS); the Ministry of environment, sanitation and sustainable development (MEADD), as well as the Ministry livestock and fisheries. In addition to participants from Mali, the sub-region, others came from South Africa and France to share their experiences on the topic discussed.

In all, 55 representatives attended, from various sectors linked to the seed sub-sector. The objective of the workshop was to establish a dialogue between the various actors of the sector with a view to arriving at a consensual legal framework around plant seeds, integrating a clear statute for farmer and traditional seeds, and protecting farmers’ rights to use seeds freely. The concrete objective was to explore the modalities of implementation of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Agriculture and Food (ITPGRFA).

The concluding discussions recalled that the strategy should take place at two levels. The first is the field level, at the level of farmers’ organizations to strengthen farmers’ seed systems and ensure the quality of farmers’ seeds, their upgrading in processing and consumption.

The second level is the advocacy to legalize farmers’ seeds and have the collective rights of farmers on their seeds recognized, while considering that strong economic interests could seek to destabilize the process in progress.

The animation and constant monitoring of the new framework put in place so that it is effective and fulfils its mandate remains a challenge.

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