Gemplasm Distribution

Access to collection

Distribution of germplasm and related information is fundamental to ICRISAT’s mission of increasing crop productivity and food security. To ensure unrestricted access of the world community, ICRISAT placed its germplasm collections under the auspices of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 1994. Under the terms of the agreement with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), ICRISAT supplies germplasm through Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA).

ICRISAT provides small quantities of germplasm samples free of charge on demand to any individual or organization anywhere in the world for the purposes of research, breeding, or training for food and agriculture.

For more information
Learn about SMTA
Poster

The SMTA is a standard agreement that sets out the terms and conditions under which plant genetic resources for food and agriculture are transferred from one person or organization (“the provider”) to another (“the recipient”) under the multilateral system of the ITPGRFA, (“the Treaty”).

Each use of the SMTA constitutes a contract between the Provider and the Recipient, and is legally binding under normal contract law regardless of their status or what countries they are based in. If you obtain rice from IRRI with an SMTA, the rights and obligations of the Recipient apply to you, while the rights and obligations of the Provider apply to IRRI.

When we send you seed with an SMTA, both you and we must know our respective rights and obligations - what we are permitted to do, what we must do, and what we must not do. The SMTA is a legal contract that defines those rights and obligations, and what will happen if they are not honored. As a legal contract it can be difficult to understand, especially for the average scientist who is not trained in legal matters. However, we still need to understand as best we can what our respective rights and obligations are.