Show Me the Non-Monetary Benefits

The idea behind the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is that it offers easy access to diversity in genebanks, including those managed by the CGIAR centers. Seed companies are expected to make extensive use of the conserved material to release more commercial varieties. The companies make money from their use of diversity in genebanks, pay an agreed percentage of their profits into the Treaty’s central fund (the Benefit-Sharing Fund), and the resulting cash flow is used to support conservation around the world on a continuing basis.

But it is fair to say that many countries have found the amounts disappointing, and the flow too slow and unpredictable, triggering attempts to improve the system. A recent paper by policy experts from Bioversity International and CGIAR genebank managers highlights the non-monetary benefits of the Treaty, which are all too often overlooked.

Read Crop Trust Director of Science, Luigi Guarino’s latest science blog for more …