FARMERS’ RIGHTS IN AUSTRALIA: COMMUNITY GARDENS MAY BE A WAY IN WHICH A DEVELOPED COUNTRY COMPLIES WITH ITS INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS

Daniela Guitart, Dr Catherine Pickering, Dr Jason Byrne, Dr Charles Lawson

Abstract


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture provides for farmers’ rights as recognition of the contribution farmers make to the conservation and development of plants for food and agriculture production. This article reports on a pilot study to illustrate how community gardens are one way that farmers’ rights can be realised in a developed country. The study of community gardens in Brisbane and the Gold Coast cities in South East Queensland Australia found that these gardens represent important dynamic reserves of agro-biodiversity and farming practices that are likely to foster the conservation of germplasm that is poorly represented in industrial agricultural practices. Within the matrix of governmental laws, community gardens are a measure that promotes and protects a realised conception of farmers’ rights.

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