On-farm conservation of PGR was another point of contention. During the discussions on enhancing the capacities of farmers in their efforts to assist in in situ conservation of PGR, the US proposed "market-based" farmer "owned" cooperatives. He explained that this was UN consensus language. ZIMBABWE and GHANA disagreed. BANGLADESH proposed an additional list of institutions and groups that can assist farmers, and enhance their capacities for in situ conservation. The list included "extension agencies", "NGOs" and farmer "owned" cooperatives. This formulation, excluding reference to "market-based," was adopted.
Delegates discussed a programme to assist in the creation of specialized niche markets for biodiverse food crops to act as a positive stimulus to farmers to grow landraces/farmers varieties, heritage and traditional varieties and other under-utilized crops. There was some contention over the use of the term "heritage varieties", particularly since the term did not translate well into Russian, Spanish or French. Delegates decided to adopt language taken from the IU referring to "obsolete varieties".
Another aspect of on-farm conservation was introduced by POLAND. He proposed a new Policy/Strategy stating that governments should consider legislation to allow distribution and commercialization of land races/farmers' varieties and obsolete varieties of PGR if they meet the same distribution and commercialization criteria for disease, pests, health and the environment as other conventional or registered varieties. This proposal was supported by a number of developing countries. During the Plenary, ECUADOR noted that before Poland's proposal could be adopted, the definition of local varieties would need to be clarified since it might be problematic for the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). After informal consultations among delegations, the Polish text, with minor alterations, was adopted.