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International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA)

Sep 24, 2022

ITPGRFA- PrepLadder

Today we will discuss International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA)  in our daily edition of Current Affairs. Read further to upgrade your UPSC CSE knowledge and also understand the topic’s relevance to the UPSC syllabus.

For Prelims: International treaties, Agriculture, Treaty’s Multilateral System (MLS), Governing Body 

For Mains: Highlights of the ninth session of ITPGRFA (GB9), Significance of ITPGRFA, ITPGRFA and India.

Probable Question

Explain the highlights of the ninth session of 'International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture' (ITPGRFA).


India is hosting the 9th Session of the Governing Body of the 'International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture' (ITPGRFA), in New Delhi.


  • Ministry: The 9th session of ITPGRFA is organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare.
  • Signing:
    • It is a legally binding comprehensive agreement adopted in November 2001 in Rome during the 31st session of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
    • It came into force on June 29, 2004.
  • Participants:
    • At present, 149 Contracting Parties, including India are part of ITPGRFA.
    • Many eminent scientists and resource persons will participate from many countries across the globe.
  • Aimed: 
    • To develop climate-resilient varieties and also a roadmap for the exchange of scientific information on plant genetic resources for increasing crop production and productivity.
    • To deliberate on the outcome of informal consultations (Article 9 of the treaty consists of the option for encouraging, guiding, and promoting the realization of Farmers’ Rights). 
    • To guide future steps necessary for the enhancement of the Treaty’s Multilateral System (MLS), which is considered vital for agricultural research, development, and global food security.
    • To strengthen the clauses in the context of the following:
      • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Nagoya Protocol
      • Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, 
      • Global Crop Diversity Trust
      • New Global Biodiversity Framework

Also Read: What is Urban Farming in India?

The Ninth Session of ITPGRFA (GB9)

  • It is the ninth session of the Governing Body of the ITPGRFA, thus also referred to as GB9.
  • Theme: 
    • Gb9 theme is Celebrating the Guardians of Crop Diversity: Towards an Inclusive Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. 
    • The theme aims the following:
      • Acknowledging the contribution of the world’s small-holder farmers.
      • Providing an opportunity to consider how the Treaty and its community will contribute to the new global biodiversity framework.
  • GB9 is also expected to consider: 
    • Capacity-development strategy for the Treaty; 
    • Funding strategy, resource mobilization, and the budget; 
    • Conservation and sustainable use of PGRFA and agriculture; 
    • Compliance 
    • Cooperation with other organizations and bodies; 
    • The Multi-year Programme of Work, including digital sequence information.

Read yesterday’s edition of Current Affairs on 75th Hyderabad Liberation Day Program, in case you missed reading it.

Significance of ITPGRFA

  • The biodiversity in food & agriculture needs to be conserved to protect the rights of the farmers.
  • ITPGRFA will provide a common platform to deliberate upon the pivotal issues, for the benefit of the farming community. 
  • The scientific exchange of technological advancement among the countries will help mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change and food security globally.
  • The plant genetic resources available in different countries will act as a base material for the development of new varieties to ensure better quality and higher productivity of crops.
  • It provides solutions to achieve food and nutritional security as well as climate resilient agriculture. 
  • It is essential to facilitate access and benefit sharing.

ITPGRFA and India

  • India is endowed with rich crop genetic resources.
  • India has successfully established legal, institutional and scholastic infrastructure to utilize the genetic diversity for breeding new varieties. 
  • India is expected to play a crucial role in minimizing the dissonance between technology-rich developed and gene-rich developing countries, to achieve functional resolutions on critical agenda items. 
  • The GB9 provides an excellent opportunity to convey the steadfast commitment of India to conservation and sustainable utilization of plant genetic diversity as well as farmers’ rights.

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