First Global Symposium on Farmers’ Rights Held in New Delhi


The President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu, inaugurated the first-ever ‘Global Symposium on Farmers’ Rights’ (GSFR) today at the ICAR Convention Centre, National Agricultural Science Centre, New Delhi. This landmark event brought together more than 700 delegates from 59 countries, including farmer organizations, policymakers, scientists, industry representatives, and legal experts, to discuss and promote farmers’ rights on a global scale.

During the inauguration ceremony, President Murmu conferred prestigious awards, including the ‘Plant Genome Saviour Communities’ Award (6), ‘Plant Genome Saviour Farmers Reward’ (16), and ‘Plant Genome Saviour Farmers Recognition’ (4), to Indian farmers. These awards were instituted under the provisions of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPVFR) Act, 2001. The President also inaugurated the ‘Plant Authority Bhawan,’ the office of the PPVFR Authority, and an online plant variety ‘Registration Portal.’

Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, and MoS Shri Kailash Chaudhury, along with Secretary Shri Manoj Ahuja, joined President Murmu in the inauguration ceremony.

President Murmu praised India for hosting the GSFR, emphasizing the nation’s rich agricultural, cultural, and ethnic diversity. She highlighted the significant role farmers play in conserving landraces, wild relatives, and traditional crop varieties, which form the foundation of modern crop breeding programs and ensure food and nutritional security for both humans and livestock. President Murmu stressed that farmers are the primary food producers, often referred to as ‘annadatta,’ and their rights and future must be protected.

Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar welcomed the President and expressed his delight at the successful organization of GSFR. He underlined the importance of agricultural biodiversity conservation for ecosystem survival and acknowledged the contributions of Indian farmers in nurturing and developing various plant varieties, emphasizing the connection between nature and culture.

Shri Manoj Ahuja, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DA&FW), highlighted India’s pioneering efforts in including Farmers’ Rights within the context of Plant Variety Registration through the PPVFR Act, 2001.

The GSFR, hosted by India from September 12 to 15, 2023, aims to facilitate the implementation of Farmers’ Rights by Contracting Parties of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA). The symposium will foster discussions on innovative approaches, effective policies, best practices, knowledge sharing, and experiences in implementing Farmers’ Rights. It also provides a platform to recognize farmers as conservers of agrobiodiversity and guardians of global food security.

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