Friday, October 7, 2011

Yet another Concern – PPV&FR Act, 2011

Dear Friends,

In continuation with my previous post dated 26th Dec 2010, I had pointed out flaw in publication of gazette notification S. O. 2883(E) dated 2nd December 2010, notifying registration of 11 crops for registration “not being extant varieties and farmers’ varieties”.

Yet another Gazette Notification is issued by the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority S.O. 1913 (E) dated 18th August, 2011, notifying 9 crop- species eligible for registration. The 9 crop species namely Coconut, Sadabahar/Periwinkle, Brahmi / Indian pennywort, Rose, Isabgol /Blond Psyllium, Pudina/ Menthol/ Mint and 3 species of wheat.

One concern that came to my mind after going through the recent Journal i.e. the Plant Variety Journal of October 2011 was that if the Gazette notification was issued way back on 18th August 2011, then why was the same not uploaded in the download section of the official website of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority of India, where other such gazette notifications were usually uploaded. Also, the other thing to notice here is that, why the Registry had not published the Public Notice informing about the said gazette in the Plant Variety Journal of September 2011 rather than publishing it in the recent October Journal.

These lacunae in the working of Plant Variety Authority and Registry raise serious concerns both in the perspective of Seeds Industry and Indian Farmers’. Why is this sluggish and irresponsible approach adopted by the Authority and Registry in its working? There is already a serious concern for protection of Farmers’ rights and protection of Farmers’ varieties in India. Though the Act provides for various liberties to Farmers’, but are these implemented in the real world. If the sluggish approach by the Registry / Authority continues in the same manner it would lead to a grave situation for farmers who will lose all rights on the varieties developed by them. As the information hardly reaches the farmers well in time or sometimes not at all, because the only source of information about publication of the varieties and other such public notifications are the Plant Variety Journals which are circulated on subscription. Too best of my knowledge and belief, hardly any individual farmer or even group of farmers would have subscribed for these Journals.

In my view a lot more has to be done on part of the Authority to bring speedy the process, leave the casual approach and most important to take suitable steps for wide circulation of the Plant Variety Journals in the form of newspapers, magazines or other such means.

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