Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA)

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Recently, delegates from across the world have gathered at the 19th session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) in Rome, Italy.

About CGRFA: 


  • It is the only permanent intergovernmental body that deals with all components of biodiversity for food and agriculture.
  • It was established in 1983.
  • Aim: To reach international consensus on policies for the sustainable use and conservation of genetic resources for food and agriculture and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from their use.
  • Member: It has 179 countries as its members.
  • India is also a member of this commission.



  • The intergovernmental body guides the preparation of periodic global assessments of the status and trends of genetic resources and biodiversity for food and agriculture.
  • It also develops global plans of action, codes of conduct or other policy instruments and monitors their implementation.
  • Some of the Commission’s landmark achievements include: the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA).


What is ITPGRFA?

It was adopted by the Thirty-First Session of the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on 3 November 2001.


The Treaty aims at:

  • Recognizing the enormous contribution of farmers to the diversity of crops that feed the world.
  • Establishing a global system to provide farmers, plant breeders and scientists with access to plant genetic materials.
  • Ensuring that recipients share benefits they derive from the use of these genetic materials with the countries where they have been originated.


Q) What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity refers to the variety and variability of life on Earth, including all living organisms, their genetic diversity, and the ecosystems in which they exist. It encompasses the millions of species of plants, animals, microorganisms, and fungi, as well as the ecological complexes and habitats they form.


Source: Genetic resources commission gathers in Rome to deliberate on biodiversity, nutrition & human health