Realizing farmers’ rights essentially means enabling farmers to maintain and develop crop genetic resources as they have done since the dawn of agriculture, and recognizing and rewarding them for this indispensable contribution to the global pool of genetic resources. The realization of farmers’ rights is a precondition for maintaining crop genetic diversity, which is the basis of all food and agricultural production in the world. Plant genetic diversity is probably more important for farming than any other environmental factor, simply because it is the factor that enables farmers to adapt to changing environmental conditions, such as climate change (Esquinas-Alcázar, 2005; Andersen, 2008; Fujisaka, Williams and Halewood, 2009; United Nations, 2009). Since farmers are the custodians and developers of crop genetic resources in the field, their rights in this regard are crucial for enabling them to continue this role. For this reason, farmers’ rights constitute a cornerstone in the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA).2 Achieving the first two objectives of the treaty – the conservation and sustainable use of crop genetic resources (Article 1) – depends to a large extent on farmers and their ability to maintain these resources in situ on their farms, which in turn depends on farmers’ rights.