Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Linking farmers to markets through valorisation of local resources:the case for intellectual property rights of indigenous resources

Bienabe, Estelle and Bramley, Cerkia and Kirsten, Johann and Troskie, Dirk (2011): Linking farmers to markets through valorisation of local resources:the case for intellectual property rights of indigenous resources.

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Abstract

This is the scientific report from a research programme which explored the current lack of a suitable public system for protecting GIs in Southern Africa. In contrast to the European Union, the current South African legal framework only provides for the protection of GIs as collective and, in certain circumstances, as certification trademarks. The lack of a public system through which to valorize GIs was identified as excluding resource poor farmers (but also commercial larger scale farmers) from a potentially useful tool for improving their market access. The need for a public system of protection also emanates from the significance of the wild resources found in South Africa and Namibia, which are often the only source of income for resource poor communities and which is threatened by bio‐piracy. It thus appeared important to assess the merits of developing an institutional framework for protecting GIs in Southern Africa and to evaluate the needs for a sui generis legal system. Secondly, an analysis was done of the local dynamics based on specific agro‐food products. Two central questions were therefore addressed in this study: "How can local communities successfully protect their resources and differentiate their production through GIs?" and "What is the nature and extent of the required institutional and legal framework to achieve this objective?”.

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