Towards a better yield

Published: Saturday 31 July 2004

A pact aimed at ensuring sustainable food supply across the world has become international law. The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture will ensure continuous availability of the genetic resources of plants needed to improve the quality and productivity of food and feed crops through a gene pool.

The treaty offers a multilateral framework for accessing genetic resources and sharing their benefits. This will cover 35 food crops and 29 forage crops. It will also develop a system to ensure that the benefits are shared in the form of exchange of information and transfer of technology. Certain non-governmental organisations are, however, wary about the extent to which big companies will be able to patent gene sequences.

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