Farmers as Plant Breeders: Legal Mechanisms to Foster Farmers' Innovation

Project Details


This research project investigates how the law could facilitate
farmers' innovation in plant breeding. Various laws are in place to
encourage the development of plant varieties giving high yields or
other desirable qualities. The current regulations focus on plant
breeding at the industry level, mostly favouring seed companies and
ignoring the farmers' innovation. However, studies show that farmers
successfully engage in plant breeding by adapting plants to changing
climatic conditions. The current intellectual property law and seed
marketing law restricts farmers' involvement in plant breeding by
putting them in the position of mere consumers of seeds. Based on
the scenario, this project focuses on three aspects. First, it
investigates the existing laws that negatively affect farmers' ability to
develop plant varieties. Second, it inquires about possible legal
measures to facilitate farmers' involvement in plant breeding related
innovation. Third, it aims to propose suitable mechanisms to award
them and protect their plant varieties. This project researches these
issues through case studies of countries in Europe and the Global
Effective start/end date1/01/2331/12/26


  • plant innovation
  • intellectual property
  • farmers' rights

Flemish discipline codes in use since 2023

  • Human rights law
  • Intellectual property law
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Philosophy of law
  • Agribusiness


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