ITPGRFAThe International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture  is also known as Seed Treaty, Plant Treaty and is a comprehensive international agreement in unison with the convention on Biological Diversity.

ITPGRFA was adopted by the 31st Session of the conference of the FAO of the UN on three 03-01-2001.


Aims of the Treaty:

  • Recognizing the enormous contribution of farmers to the diversity of crops that feed the world.
  • Establishing a global system to provide farmers, plant breeders and scientist with access to plant genetic material
  • Ensuring the recipients share benefits that they derived from the use of these genetic material with countries where they have been originated.



  • Multilateral system : The treaty’s truly innovative solution to access and benefit sharing, the multilateral system puts 64 of the most important crops into an easily accessible global pool of genetic resources that is freely available to potential users in the treaty’s ratifying nations for sum of their uses.
  • Access and benefit sharing: The treaty facilitate access to the genetic materials of the crops in the multilateral system for research, breeding and training for food and agriculture . Those access the materials must be from the treaty’s ratifying nations and must agree to use the materials totally for research, breeding and training for food and agriculture.
  • The treaty prevents the recipients of genetic resources from claiming IPR over those resources in the form in which they received them and ensures that access to genetic resources already protected by IPR in consistent with international and national laws.




The treaty recognizes the enormous contribution farmers have made to the ongoing development of the world’s wealth of plant genetic resources. It calls for protecting the traditional knowledge of these farmers increasing their participation in national decision-making processes and ensuring that they share in the benefits from the usage of these resources.




Local crops are a major food source for hundreds of millions of people   with the potential to provide nutrition to many across the globe.   The treaty helps maximize the use of breeding of all crops and promotes development and maintenance of diverse farming systems.



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