International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture



Payment for Use of Plant Material under the International Treaty

Rome, Italy, 31 August 2020 – Dutch family-owned vegetable seed company Bejo has paid into the International Treaty’s Benefit-sharing Fund, in keeping with the international agreement to pay a percentage of seed sales based on germplasm accessed through the Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-sharing (MLS) of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, FAO. This payment is for a commercialized product using germplasm obtained from the MLS through the Centre for Genetic Resources in Wageningen, The Netherlands.

“We thank Bejo for making this payment in accordance with the Standard Material Transfer Agreement for accessing crop genetic material from the Multilateral System of the International Treaty,” said Kent Nnadozie, Secretary of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. “The International Treaty’s Multilateral System was designed so that those benefitting from the use of seed or other plant genetic material available through the Multilateral System share some of those benefits with farmers in developing countries through the Benefit-sharing Fund. Such payments, however large or small, are critical in order for the system to continue working effectively; therefore, we welcome this ‘use-based’ payment to the Benefit-sharing Fund, which supports projects that benefit smallholder farmers and communities around the world.”

The payment by Bejo to the Benefit-sharing Fund of the International Treaty is based on the agreed percentage of seed sales based on the accessed material. This payment and other similar payments go into the Benefit-sharing Fund to support agricultural development projects in developing countries. Through the Fund, farmers and scientists in developing countries, which are often rich in natural and agricultural resources, receive the financial support needed to conserve and sustain the crops that provide our food supply.

The International Treaty’s Multilateral System comprises a global genepool of over 2.2 million samples of crop seeds available to farmers and breeders around the world. To date, the Multilateral System has facilitated the exchange of over 5.6 million samples of vital plant genetic material at an average rate of 1000 transfers per day. Those who use seeds and planting material from this global genepool and make a profit from that are obliged to pay a certain percentage of their net sales back into the Benefit-sharing Fund, if they restrict further use for breeding of the newly developed products by others.

The Benefit-sharing Fund has benefited over 1 million people through 80 projects in 67 developing countries over four projects cycles, using voluntary contributions from Contracting Parties and others. The fourth round of these projects is currently ongoing.

Bejo Zaden b.v. is a vegetable seed company in The Netherlands started in 1899 with operations in over 30 countries. In 2015, Bejo acquired Agrisemen, which was the original company that signed the Standard Material Transfer Agreement to access material from the Multilateral System. The Bejo website states that:

“We stay close to nature. We feel that the world’s scarce natural resources deserve protection, so that growers can harvest from healthy, fertile soil, now and in fifty years’ time. That’s why we are always looking for new, more sustainable farming methods and why we invest in a broad range of organic vegetable seeds.”

#  #  #


#Seeds #BenefitSharing #Netherlands 


Share this page