In this article, we discuss the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act 2001, Breeders Rights, Researchers ‘ Rights, Farmers Rights, UPOV Act. Advantage & Disadvantage.
What is the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act 2001?
Table of Contents
- This Act was passed in 2001.
- Its construction conforms to the provisions of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants – UPOV of 1978.
- The contribution of both commercial plant species manufacturers and farmers has been recognized in this act.
- It also makes provision to implement TRIP in a way that supports the specific socio-economic interests of all stakeholders.
- These stakeholders include the private sector, public sector and research institutes as well as those farmers who are short of resources.
- Through this Act, the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act 2001 was created, which came into existence in 2005.
- This authority is different in the sense that it gives rights to the farmers, which has not been provided by any other country in the world.
- Intellectual property protection is provided to agricultural varieties by the Act.
Objectives of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act 2001
- To establish an effective system for protecting the rights of plant varieties, cultivators and breeders and to promote the growth of new varieties of plants.
- To recognize and protect the rights of farmers in terms of providing plant genetic resources for the development of new varieties of plants and the contribution made by farmers in their conservation and improvement at any time.
- To accelerate agricultural development in the country, protect the rights of plant breeders. To encourage investment in both public and private sectors for research and development for the development of new varieties of plants.
- To facilitate the progress of the seed industry of the country so that the availability of high-quality seeds and planting material can be ensured to the farmers.
Rights under Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act 2001
- Breeders Rights
- Researchers ‘ Rights
- Farmers Rights
Breeders’ rights under Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act 2001 :
we can say that the only right to produce, sell, market, distribute and import protected plant species will be those who breed this species. If their right is violated, then they can take shelter from the law for this. Breeding species can appoint their own breeding agent and licensee.
Researchers ‘ Rights under Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act 2001 :
Researchers can use any species type registered under the Act for conducting experiments and research. A newly created species can also be used as an initial source by a researcher with the aim of creating a new species. But prior permission from the registered breeder will be necessary to use that species repeatedly.
Farmer Rights under Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act 2001 :
- A farmer who develops a new species type can also get registration and protection like the species producer companies.
- The new species produced by the farmer can be registered as an extant variety.
- Along with the seed-type protected under the Act, the farmer can save, use, re-sow, regulate, distribute or sell his crop. But farmers will not be able to sell any branded seed species protected under PPV & FR Act.
- Farmers will be entitled to appropriate honours and awards for the conservation of plant genetic resources and wild types of cash crops.
- According to section 39 (2) of the Act, if the new plant species made by the farmer is not properly fruitful, then he can get compensation for it.
- Under the Act, the farmer will not have to pay any fee for any proceeding before the authority or registrar or tribunal or high court.
Requirements for Plant Breeder Right Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act 2001:
For protection under the provisions of the UPOV Act (1991), a plant variety must fulfil the following conditions:
1. Novelty: Before any type of PBR protection, that variety has not been used commercially for more than 1 year.
2. Distinctiveness: The new variety should differ from other varieties of the same crop in one or more recognizable morphological, physiological and other characteristics.
3. Stability: In looking at the new variety (= symptom) and the characteristics in relation to which the drug has been made, it should be stable in its adaptation environment, generation-by-generation stability.
The extent of Protection by Plant Breeder Right under Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act 2001 :
The varieties protected under the UPOV Act (1991) receive protection in the following areas.
- All the parts (products) of the protected variety are produced for commercial purpose and their marketing or sale is monopolized by the PBR holder.
- The farmer can be given this facility to use a part of his produce as a seed for sowing in his fields. It will not have to pay any rights fee to the PBR holder for doing so. But this privilege (peasant privilege) is not conferred in the UPOV Act (1991) and is dependent on the national laws of member countries
- Farmers are prohibited from providing seeds of safe varieties of seeds or propagules
- The period of protection is at least 20 years. In some member countries, this period is even up to 30 years (for maize interbreeds, inbreeds, in France).
- Safe varieties can be freely used for scientific research and breeding. But this exemption is not for essentially derived varieties. When a new variety is developed by mutation (by mutation or some other method) of one or a few genes of a variety, the new variety is called essentially derived from the parent variety.
Breeder’s Exemption under Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act 2001 :
- PBR protection methods generally allow breeders to use any of the protected varieties in breeding programs; For this, no fee of any kind will be payable to the initial type PBR holder. This type of provision is called Breeder’s Examination.
- In the UPOV Act (1978) this exemption was applicable to all the varieties obtained from the initial variety. But UPOV (1991) has limited the scope of breeder exemption: varieties originally derived from primitive varieties are not exempt; Such varieties now come under the purview of PBR protection of the initial variety. When a variety is originally derived from the initial type, the new variety may have a genotype or gene combination of the initial type.
- The characteristics resulting from the expression remain unchanged in the new variety, while the new variety is called the essentially -derived variety. For example, the new variety that will be developed by transferring a gene by mutation or back cross in a variety is called a truly derived variant. But hybrid inbreed / lines also have PBR protection; Therefore, they cannot be used in breeding programs.
Farmer’s Privilege under Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act 2001 :
- Ordinarily, the PBR laws provide that farmers can use a portion of the self-produced seeds of protected varieties, etc., as seeds to grow in their fields, and for this, they need PBR of these varieties. Holders do not have to pay any rights fees. This type of provision is called Farmer’s Privilege. The UPOV Act (1978) provided for peasant privileges. The UPOV Act (1991) did not contain this provision in Suru, but the decision to grant or not to grant this privilege has now been left to the member states of UPOV due to the variety of pressures. If a member country makes such a provision, it can incorporate this right in its laws. The peasant privilege allows every farmer to self-propagate a certain variety of self-propagating cultivars next year. Use for. But this privilege does not give farmers the right to exchange seeds of safe varieties. Farmer privilege is a very important provision for countries like India, as more than 90% of the area in this country produces seeds produced by farmers themselves. The main reason for this is that the availability of certified seeds in India is much less than 10% of the total requirement of seeds (about 6%). Also, most of the farmers are poor. Therefore, forcing them to pay a fee to use their own product as a seed would be a cruel step.
Benefits from Plant Breeder Right under Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act 2001 :
- This gives the breeders an impetus in their efforts, as they also get a share of the economic benefit from the varieties they grow.
- Investment in plant breeding programs by private companies is encouraged.
- Due to this, varieties of protection are available to the farmers.
- This increases competition in plant breeding institutions, which ultimately benefits the farmers.
Disadvantages from Plant Breeder Right under Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act 2001 :
- This promotes a monopoly for genetic resources, especially genetic material with specific characteristics.
- It reduces the free exchange of genetic material and can also promote wrong practices.
- A good quality holder can try to earn more profit by producing less seed than demand.
- Peasant privileges may be weakened/terminated.
- This can increase the cost of seed.
- This will delay the spread of new varieties in countries like India. The main reason for this is that new varieties are mainly spread among farmers by seed exchange/sale. According to a survey, about 86% of the seed in Andhra Pradesh passes from one farmer to another.
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