The UN world food body has reached a landmark agreement for saving the diversity of agricultural crops. Members of the body, including the US, have decided to make it mandatory for plant breeders and geneticists developing new crop varieties to pay for having access to public seed banks. The agreement, encompassing 34 nutritional crop groups and 39 forage crop groups, underlined the need to protect farmers' rights, enabling them to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed. Until now, international seed exchanges have operated informally on the principle of

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