Need for PVPFR
In order to provide for the establishment of an effective system for the protection of plant varieties, the rights of farmers and plant breeders and to encourage the development of new varieties of plants it has been considered necessary to recognize and to protect the rights of the farmers in respect their contributions made at any time in conserving, improving and making available plant genetic resources for the development of new plant varieties.
Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV &FR) Act, 2001
The Government of India enacted “The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV &FR) Act, 2001” adopting sui generis system.
Indian legislation is not only in conformity with International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), 1978, but also have sufficient provisions to protect the interests of public sector breeding institutions and the farmers.
The legislation recognizes the contributions of both commercial plant breeders and farmers in plant breeding activity and also provides to implement TRIPs in a way that supports the specific socio-economic interests of all the stakeholders including private, public sectors and research institutions, as well as resource-constrained farmers.
To implement the provisions of the Act the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture established the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority on 2005.
Objectives of the PPV & FR Act, 2001
- To establish an effective system for the protection of plant varieties, the rights of farmers and plant breeders and to encourage the development of new varieties of plants.
- To recognize and protect the rights of farmers in respect of their contributions made at any time in conserving, improving and making available plant genetic resources for the development of new plant varieties.
- To accelerate agricultural development in the country, protect plant breeders’ rights; stimulate investment for research and development both in public & private sector for the development new of plant varieties.
- Facilitate the growth of seed industry in the country which will ensure the availability of high quality seeds and planting material to the farmers.
Rights under the Act
Breeders will have exclusive rights to produce, sell, market, distribute, import or export the protected variety. Breeder can appoint agent/ licensee and may exercise for civil remedy in case of infringement of rights.
Researcher can use any of the registered variety under the Act for conducting experiment or research. This includes the use of a variety as an initial source of variety for the purpose of developing another variety but repeated use needs prior permission of the registered breeder.
- A Farmer who has evolved or developed a new variety is entitled for registration and protection in like manner as a breeder of a variety;
- Farmers variety can also be registered as an extant variety;
- A farmer can save, use, sow, re-sow, exchange, share or sell his farm produce including seed of a variety protected under the PPV & FR Act, 2001 in the same manner as he was entitled before the coming into force of this Act provided farmer shall not be entitled to sell branded seed of a variety protected under the PPV&FR Act, 2001;
- Farmers are eligible for recognition and rewards for the conservation of Plant Genetic Resources of land races and wild relatives of economic plants;
- There is also a provision for compensation to the farmers for non-performance of variety under Section 39 (2) of the Act, 2001 and
- Farmer shall not be liable to pay any fee in any proceeding before the Authority or Registrar or the Tribunal or the High Court under the Act
Traditional variety of Crops
The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer’s Rights Authority (PPV & FRA) has also registered 1070 traditional varieties of different crops. PPV & FRA encourages the community and individuals engaged in conservation, improvement and preservation of plant genetic resources of economic plants and their wild relatives particularly in the areas identified as agro-biodiversity hotspots by awarding the community and individuals who have played stellar roles in such activities.
NBPGR and PPV & FRA organizes biodiversity awareness programmes and training for farmers to strengthen community seed system and create awareness to conserve indigenous crop varieties and climate resilient traditional land races of local crops every year.