NEW DELHI: Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait, while speaking on behalf of farmers’ representative at international conference on plant genetic resources here on Monday, reminded the global community of Indian farmers’ collective strength citing how they fought for their rights through year-long protests along Delhi borders, and urged them not to ignore their demands.
Making his remarks in the context of farmers’ demands over their rights to use, save, exchange and sell their seeds, Tikait said no intellectual property or other global treaty obligations, such as patents on narive traits, should be allowed to restrict the rights of farmers.
“I would like to remind everyone here today what we, and our collective strength as movements, can do if our rights are violated. We showed it here, in Delhi, not more than a year ago,” he said while referring to the farmers’ protests against three farm laws during 2020-21.
He represented the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (IPC), an autonomous and self-organised global platform of small farmers and rural workers, at the ninth session of the governing body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA).
Tikait also warned the gathering of policymakers from across the globe that the farmers would be forced to call on peasant communities and indigenous people throughout the world to stop transferring seeds and traditional knowledge to the world’s Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA) collections if clauses of the international treaty on farmers’ rights are not implemented effectively.