Access and benefit sharing of plant genetic resources is a crucial but very complex, political and legalistic matter. Does the formal system work for family farmers? As we see in this special issue of Farming Matters, co-produced with Bioversity International, it poses many challenges and Farmers' Rights are rarely implemented in national law. At the same time, farmers around the world are leading successful initiatives for access and benefit sharing. In this special issue of Farming Matters also an article of the Bioimpuls potato breeding project was included."