DECLARATION ON THE OCCASION
OF THE NATIONAL FARMER-BREEDERS CONFERENCE 2018
WE RECOGNIZE THAT Filipino farmers have contributed greatly to the conservation and development of the Philippines’ agricultural biodiversity.
WE ARE CONVINCED THAT there is a need for the recognition of the distinctiveness of farmer seed systems that exist in varying social and cultural environments, and maintaining the fluidity and dynamic feature that characterizes farmer seed systems which is crucial in ensuring the sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
WE STRESS THAT Filipino farmers have proven time and again that they have the capacity to develop new crop varieties in different agro-ecosystems, including prime irrigated and market-oriented areas which actually promote conservation of plant genetic resources through their sustainable utilization on farm. These developments should be recognized in developing mechanisms for strengthening farmer seed systems.
We, the Filipino farmer-breeders, have united for our nation’s future.
We are facing major challenges. The National Farmer-Breeders Conference is our response to these challenges. Only through our unity can we continue to preserve our ideal of a thriving and self-sustaining Philippine agricultural sector. Our solidarity makes us strong.
WE RESIST the imposition of Intellectual Property Rights on Seeds.
WE RESIST the restrictions on the use, exchange, and sale of seeds.
WE RESIST the threat of extinction of Filipino farmers’ seeds, and our traditional knowledge in Agriculture.
WE RESIST the blatant disregard of the Filipino farmers’ voice in decision-making processes.
WE RESIST the negligence of farmers’ needs in climate change responses.
We, the Filipino farmer-breeders, have united to forward campaigns relevant to all Filipino farmers.
WE INTEND TO lead the campaign to change and shape the policies and perceptions that affect us through our various calls.
WE ARE COMMITTED TO the protection of traditional varieties and farmer-developed varieties, as well as the associated knowledge against misappropriation.
WE ARE COMMITTED TO the protection against new and emerging technologies; we believe that the Philippine Government has the mandate to examine, within the context of its work, priorities and available resources, the potential impact of new and emerging technologies with special consideration of its effects on indigenous peoples, smallholder farmers and local communities, and associated traditional knowledge.
WE ARE COMMITTED TO boost our participation in decision-making processes at all levels (from the community to the national level) on matters related to agriculture.
WE ARE COMMITTED TO maximizing our representation in policy development processes wherein farmers themselves are given the opportunity to select/appoint their own representatives.
WE ARE COMMITTED TO developing our capacity towards strengthening farmer-seed systems, farmer-led plant breeding and community-based plant genetic resources conservation and development initiatives.
WE ARE COMMITTED TO developing concrete and tangible support and solutions to seed conservation, development, exchange and selling of seeds.
WE ARE COMMITTED TO campaign for our unrestricted access to seeds, both as a planting material and as raw materials for breeding to enable farmers to continue conserve and develop plant genetic resources.
WE ARE COMMITTED TO advance Filipino farmers’ rights over seeds and genetic resources.
We, the Filipino farmer-breeders, have united to realize our dream of a vibrant and thriving Philippine agricultural sector.
WE ARE STRIVING for a sustainable and ecological Philippine agriculture sector. One of our nation’s wealth lie in the traditional knowledge and practices of our farmers. Supporting farmers mean supporting national development, growth, and social cohesion.
WE CALL ON our noble countrymen to stand in solidarity with farmer-breeders by supporting our campaigns and spreading awareness on the many issues that plague us. To stand with farmers mean to stand for the food security of millions of Filipinos.
WE CALL ON the Philippine government to champion a national transition to sustainable, ecological agriculture, with focus on enabling peasants, small-scale producers, and local and indigenous communities to adapt to climate change, ensure adequate public financing for agriculture, and avoid questionable technological fixes and market mechanisms.
WE CALL ON the Philippine government to put smallholder farmers, especially women, indigenous peoples and local communities, at the heart of decision-making around these critical agricultural policy decisions.
WE CALL ON the UN member states to vote for and adopt the UN Declaration for the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas in November 2018. The adoption of the Declaration would mean better protection of the rights of farmers and a potential end to the discriminatory practices they are subjected to.
For our nation’s future: Save our seeds, support our farmers.
Signed at the National Farmer Breeder’s Conference in Davao City, on the tenth day of October 2018.