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International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

FRENCH SEED SECTOR ANNOUNCES ANNUAL CONTRIBUTION TO BENEFIT-SHARING FUND

Fabrice Dreyfus, Kent Nnadozie and François Burgaud

02/11/2017

French Government Reiterates Support for FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

KIGALI, Rwanda, 2 November 2017 France announced that their private seed sector (Groupement National Interprofessionnel des Semences et plants, GNIS) will make an annual contribution of Euro 175 000 to the Benefit-sharing Fund of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture starting this year, and also announced the government’s decision to add new material into the International Treaty’s Multilateral System (MLS) that contains over 1.5 million samples of plant genetic material from its 144 member countries.

"France attaches great importance to this Treaty, which is indispensable for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda,” said Stéphane Travert, France’s Minister of Agriculture and Food in a Press Release issued in France.

The French announcement was made in Kigali, Rwanda, during the Seventh Session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty at a small ceremony during which François Burgaud, Director of International Relations of GNIS, presented a symbolic check for Euro 175 000 as the French seed sector’s first annual contribution to the Benefit-sharing Fund of the International Treaty, and Fabrice Dreyfus, presented a symbolic basket of eggplants and oats on behalf of the French Ministry of Agriculture as a symbolic gesture of the government’s newest additions to the MLS.

 “France is committed to supporting the International Treaty,” said Mr Dreyfus, “and this is a gesture of our renewed commitment.”

 “We recognize the importance of the International Treaty and its Benefit-sharing Fund,” said Mr Burgaud, “and that is why the French seed sector has decided to provide annual financial support to this Fund.”

Accepting the symbolic check and basket of eggplants on behalf of the International Treaty, Kent Nnadozie, Secretary of the International Treaty thanked the French seed sector and said, “This is welcome news and comes at a particularly opportune time, as we are about to launch the Fourth Call for Proposals under the Benefit-sharing Fund. It also highlights the importance of fully participating in the International Treaty’s Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-sharing by adding material into the MLS while provides regular contributions in to the Benefit-sharing Fund, which helps support farmers in developing countries,” he said.

France has already included a number of varieties of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in into the International Treaty’s unique Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-sharing provides Contracting Parties, currently comprising over 1.5 million samples of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. Their newest additions include 603 varieties of oats, 80 varieties of aubergine and 36 varieties of triticale, managed by France’s National Agricultural Research Institute (INRA) and belonging to the French national collection.

France has been a Contracting Party of the International Treaty since 2005.

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