ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Plant Variety Protection and Farmers' Rights BillSubscribe to Plant Variety Protection and Farmers' Rights Bill

Plant Variety Protection and Farmers' Rights

Proprietary claims have played an indelible role in drafting legislation relating to plant variety protection and have since assumed significance in various national and international forums. The Indian response to the issue of proprietary claims, the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Bill, passed by parliament last autumn establishes plant breeder rights granting the holder exclusive rights for a specified period, but juxtaposes this by recognising farmers' claims to plant varieties. This article explores the issue of proprietary claims, and laws framed in its recognition, as emerging from an interplay of international frameworks and domestic law-making processes, as well as the interaction of the politico-economic structure with a variety of actors.

Plant Variety Protection and Farmers' Rights Law

A long and arduous struggle for the recognition of the rights of farmers has ended with the passing of the Plant Variety Protection and Farmers Rights Bill by the Lok Sabha. The bill recognises the farmer as a conserver of the agricultural gene pool and as a breeder. It makes provision for such farmers' varieties to be registered. The rights of rural communities are acknowledged as well. While the bill can be improved in some respects, the next major step is to decide through which international platform India will interact with other nations. At present the only such platform is UPOV. However, India should work, with other developing countries, to evolve an alternative to UPOV.

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