The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer’s Rights Act, 2001

The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer’s Rights Act, 2001

Most developed countries have a PBR system in force. The situation in India differes from that in the developed countries in the following respects.

1. Plant breeding activity is mainly carried out by the public sector.
2. Private sector is not yet a major contributor.

There have been arguments that the situation is not ripe for a PBR system in India, but the arguments appear as artificial and are unconvincing. Some have suggested that Asian countries must evolve their own PBR systems with the following provisions.

1. Recognition of community interests, E. g Informal systems of open-pollinated varieties, etc.
2. Extension of the concept of essentially – derived varieties to the unprotected varieties.  

In any case, India is obligated, under TRIPs to adopt UPOV Act (1991) , allow patents or enact a sui generis PBR system that affords protection equivalent to UPOV Act ( 1991) or a patent. India had been trying to develop a sui generis system of PBR (Rana, 1995). A sui generis system simply means a system of their own. E. g Designed by them, in this case, India. These efforts have culminated in the passage of ‘The Protection of plant varieties and Farmers Rights Act, 2001 (PPVFR Act, 2001) on August 9, 2001 by the Lok Sabha. The Act aims to provide for the establishment of an effective system for protection of plant varieties, the rights of farmers and plant breeders and to encourage the development of new varieties of plants.

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