From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Seed Treaty
Mains level : Intellectual property rights of farmers
A session of the Governing Body of International Treaty of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) better known as Seed Treaty is recently held.
About the Seed Treaty
- ITPGRFA also known as Seed Treaty is a comprehensive international agreement for ensuring food security through the conservation, exchange and sustainable use of the world’s plant genetic resources.
- It aims for food and agriculture (PGRFA), as well as the fair and equitable benefit sharing arising from its use.
- The governing body meets biennially and India is a signatory to the treaty.
- Farmers’ Contribution: To recognize the contribution of farmers to the diversity of crops,
- Access and Benefit Sharing: Establish a global system to provide farmers, plant breeders and scientists with access to plant genetic materials,
- Sustainability: To conserve and sustainably use plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of their use, in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Act
- The PPV&FR Act, 2001 was enacted to grant intellectual property rights to plant breeders, researchers and farmers who have developed any new or extant plant varieties.
- The rights granted under this Act are exclusive right to produce, sell, market, distribute, import and export the variety.
- According to the act, a farmer is entitled to save, use, sow, resow, exchange, share or sell his farm produce including seed of a variety protected under the PPV&FR Act, 2001 except the brand name.
- The Act is compliant to Article-9 of the Seed Treaty.
- A few months back in April 2019, PepsiCo sued Gujarati farmers by invoking the provisions of the act.
- The PPV&FR Authority has registered about 3631 plant varieties out of which 1597 (44%) belong to the farmers.