Regional Technical Platform on Green Agriculture

Farmer Rights to Seeds for food and livelihood security: building more resilient agrifood systems

Virtual Event, 14/06/2023 - 15/06/2023

Seeds are of paramount importance for developing sustainable and diverse agrifood systems adapted to specific social, economic, and ecological conditions. Access to a diversity of quality seeds is essential to fight against hunger and malnutrition, sustain and improve rural livelihoods and increase resilience to external shocks – today and in the future.

In all countries of the region, particularly in the centres of origin and crop diversity, farmers, and among them specifically women and indigenous communities, contribute to the conservation, development, and sustainable use of genetic resources for food and agriculture manifested in seeds. And their contributions are based, at their core, on traditional systems of seed exchange. It is, therefore, particularly important that they are recognised as custodians of crop diversity and carriers of traditional knowledge, and that the national seed systems address their needs equally, fairly, and inclusively.

The purpose of this workshop is therefore to raise the profile of farmers’ rights to seeds demonstrating the food and livelihood security benefits they bring and their contributions to countries’ commitments to biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as share options for encouraging, guiding, and promoting the realization of these rights on national levels.


Policymakers, legislators, and technical experts;

Farmers, researchers, civil society organisations, including the representatives of youth, women and indigenous groups.


The event will be divided into two days. The first day will focus on the technical aspects and the international framework of farmers right to seed. The second day will focus on case studies, practical examples, and successful cases. 


The event will be held in English and Russian. Simultaneous interpretation will be available.


Moderators: Carolina Rizzi Starr, Agricultural Officer, FAO REU, and Anna Kanshieva, Biodiversity Specialist, FAO REU


Opening by Raimund Jehle, Regional Programme Leader, FAO REU

ECA Regional seed systems programme, by Zsuzsanna Keresztes, FAO REU

Plenary 1. Farmers’ rights to seeds: international policy framework, with speakers:

  • Gordana Duric, University of Banja Luka on Multilateral agreements related to seeds
  • Sangeeta Shashikant, Third World Network, on UPOV-91 and the impacts on farmers right to seeds 
  • Christophe Golay, Geneva Academy, on Humans' rights and the rights to seed (UNDROP)
  • Titilayo Adebola, Senior Advisor to the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, on the Farmers Rights and SDG Targets: Linking Agriculture and Agroecology
  • Mario Marino, ITPGRFA Secretariat, on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the farmers’ rights
  • Andrea Ferrante, Schola Campesina, on the demand for seeds policies focusing on small farmers' needs 

Plenary 2. International experience on seed policies’ harmonisation, with speakers:

  • Fulya Batur, European Coordination for Let's Liberate Diversity, on the EU reform towards the new seed marketing legislation
  • Hans Martin Lorenzen, Agricultural and Rural Convention 2020 (ARC2020), presenting the case of Denmark
  • Co-existing formal and farmers’ seeds system – the Brazilian case
  • Azamat Mukashev, expert, presenting the case of Kyrgyzstan
  • Viaceslav Grigorița, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, presenting the case of Moldova


Second-day panel discussions will present the country cases:

  • Anzor Maisuradze, heritage wheat producer, Mariam Jorjadze, Elkana, from Georgia
  • Riccardo Bocci, Rete semi rurali, Fabio Aranzulla, Luca Cinquemani, Aterraterra, from Italy
  • Gulya Amankulova, Dyikan Muras Seed-Savers Network, Aida Jamangulova, Agency for Development Initiatives, from Kyrgyzstan
  • Guy Kastler, European Coordination Via Campesina’s Seeds Working Group, Cyrille Pacteau, Le Réseau Semences Paysannes, from France
  • Oxana Guzun and Ana Benoliel Coutinho, Grădina Moldovei, from Moldova
  • Ivanna Bilous, Nasivanky family farm & Yulia Pitenko, Tykha yizha Ukrayiny, from Ukraine

Closing by the Council of the EU Presidency