A new International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA) was adopted by the FAO Conference in November 2001. The main areas covered by the treaty include: (i) a multilateral system of access and benefit sharing of plant genetic resources for major food crops; (ii) an agreement on access to ex situ genetic resources not covered by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); and (¡ii) a recognition of the contributions of local and indigenous communities and farmers to PGRFA (farmers' rights). The PGRFA covered by the treaty include most major food crops (cereals such as rice, wheat, maize, sorghum and millet; grain legumes such as beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas and cowpeas; roots and tubers such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava and yams), plus a list of forages (32 genera). The treaty will enter into force once it has been ratified by 40 or more countries. This is expected to be in 2003 or 2004.