This book is about crop plant varieties developed by local farmers – commonly referred to as farmers’ varieties – and policies to increase the share of benefits farmers receive from the use of those varieties. These are not new subjects. Over the course of the last 50 years there has been a growing appreciation on the part of different stakeholders including biologists, activists and policy makers of the important role that farmers have played in the development and conservation of crop varieties and crop genetic diversity generally. Over successive generations of seed selection (or cutting or bud selection), exchange, and replanting across a range of environments, farmers exert selection pressures contributing to the evolution of plant populations. Farmers have domesticated wild species – indeed, they continue to do so (Scarcelli et al. 2006; Vodouhe et al. 2011) – and are largely responsible for the extraordinary genetic diversity within species (intraspecific diversity) that exists today (Brush 2004). By way of corollary, farmers’ selection can also contribute to the maintenance of a variety or population under environmental circumstances that would otherwise contribute to its gradual disappearance or extinction (Louellan 1999).2