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What is Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA)?

Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Right Authority (PPVFRA) provides 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.

What in News?

The Delhi Court recently upheld an order by the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), revoking the intellectual property protection granted to PepsiCO India Holdings Pvt ltd. with respect to a potato variety developed by it.

About Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA):

  • It is a statutory body created by the act of parliament.
  • It works under the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare and Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.
  • RRVFRA is an authority set up by Central Government and consists of a director and fifteen individual members.

Objectives of PPFRA:

  • 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 contribution made at any time in conversing, improving and making available plant genetic resources for the development of new plant varieties.
  • To accelerate agricultural development in the country.
  • To protect plant breeders’ rights.
  • Stimulate investment for research and development both in private and public sector for the development of new plant varieties.
  • Facilitate the growth of seed industry in the country which will ensure high quality seeds and planting material to the farmers.

Structure of PPVFRA:

  • The chairperson is the chief executive of the authority.
  • Besides the chairperson, there are 15 other members as notified by the Government of India (GOI).
  • Eight of them are ex-officio members representing various departments/ministries. Three from SAU’s and the state government, one representative each for farmers, tribal organization, seed industry and women organization associated with agricultural activities are nominated by the government.
  • The Registrar General is the ex-officio member secretary of the authority.

Function of PPVFRA Authority:

  • Registration of new plant varieties, essentially derived varieties and extant varieties.
  • Development of DUS (Distinctiveness, Uniformity and Stability) test guidelines for new plant species.
  • Developing characterization and documentation of varieties registered.
  • Compulsory Cataloguing facilities for all variety of plants.
  • Documentation, indexing and cataloguing of farmers’ varieties.
  • Recognising and rewarding farmers, community of farmers, particularly tribal and rural community engaged in conservation and improvement.
  • Preservation of plant genetic resources of economic pants and their wild relatives.
  • Maintenance of National Register of plant varieties.
  • Maintenance of National Genetic Bank.

Rights under the PPVFRA:

  1. Breeders’ Rights:
  • Breeders have the exclusive right to produce, sell, market, distribute, import or export the protected variety.
  • Breeders can appoint agent/license and may exercise for civil remedy in case of infringement of rights.
  1. Researchers’ Rights:
  • Researchers can use any of the registered variety under the act for conducting experiment and research.
  1. Farmers’ Rights:
  • A farmer who has evolved or developed a new variety is entitled for registration and protection in like manner as breeder of variety.
  • Farmers’ variety can also be registered as an extant variety.
  • Farmers are eligible for recognition and reward for the conservation of plant genetic resources.
  • Farmers shall not be liable to pay any fees in any proceeding before the Authority or Registrar or the Tribunal under the act.

Registration of Varieties under PPVFRA:

  • A variety is eligible for registration under the act if it fulfils the criteria of DUS (Distinctiveness, Uniformity and Stability).
  • The Central Government has notified 157 crops for the purpose of registration.

Fees for registration of varieties under PPVFRA:

  • For Extant variety notified under section 5 of the seeds act, 1966:- 2000.
  • For New variety/ Essentially derived variety/ Extant variety about which there is common variety (VCK):-

Individual- Rs.7000

Educational- Rs.10000

Commercial- Rs50000

  • For farmers’ variety:- No fees.

Plant Varieties Protection Appellate Tribunal:

  • Plant Varieties Protection Appellate Tribunal has been set up by delegating members.
  • All requests or choices of registrar of authority identifying with an enrolment of assortment can be bid in the tribunal.
  • All requests or choices of authority identifying with advantage sharing, renouncement of an obligatory permit, and instalment of pay can likewise be offered in the tribunal.
  • The choices of PVPAT can be tested in the high court.

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