Combining Farmers’ Rights and Plant Variety Protection in Indian Law

In Andersen, Regine and Tone Winge (eds), Realising Farmers' Rights to Crop Genetic Resources: Success Stories and Best Practices. Abingdon (UK), Routledge, 2013, pp. 54-61.

In this chapter, the most far-reaching legislation to date with regard to establishing rights for farmers to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed, India’s 2001 Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act (the PPVFR Act), is presented along with the story of how it was adopted. Through this act India aimed to both establish the legal space necessary for farmers to continue maintaining their traditional varieties and practices and to introduce plant breeders’ rights. This act is quite unique because it confers concurrent rights to breeders and farmers, and recognises farmers as cultivators, conservers and breeders. The chapter explains the somewhat long process of debates and revisions that led to this legislation being enacted, and presents its key provisions relevant for Farmers’ Rights, its impact so far and lessons learned.



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