International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA)

International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA)

The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA, 'Treaty') is an international agreement adopted under the aegis of the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in 2001. It entered into force in 2004. The Treaty has created a Multilateral System (MLS) of access and benefit-sharing providing facilitated access to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

The MLS of the Treaty provides access to genetic resources belonging to crops that are listed on the Annex I of the Treaty. The MLS is based on the principle of multilateralism allowing users to access all material available in the MLS under the same pre-set conditions which are laid down in the Treaty’s standard Material Transfer Agreement (sMTA). This simple and predictable system is well-adapted to plant breeding as it takes into account the continuous need for unimpeded access to a wide range of materials.

Similarly, the Treaty’s benefit-sharing mechanism takes into account and recognizes one of the basic principles of plant breeding which is the free availability to genetic material for further breeding, also embedded in the UPOV-type plant variety protection system.

 

 

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