Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority

India having ratified the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of the Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) has to make provision for giving effect to Agreement. To give effect to the aforesaid objectives the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001 has been enacted in India. This was reiterated in the National Seed Policy 2002 that a Plant Varieties & Farmers’ Rights Protection (PVP) Authority as per Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001 has to be established. The Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority works under the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India.

What is Plant variety Protection?

The breeding activities and exploitation of new varieties are the decisive factors for improving rural income and their overall economic development. Since the process of plant breeding is long and expensive, it is important to provide an effective system of plant variety protection with an aim to encourage the development of new varieties of plants for the benefit of society. A Farmer who has bred or developed a new variety is entitled for registration and other protection under PPV&FR Act, 2001 in the same manner as a breeder of a variety. This protection is provided for 18 years in respect to trees and vines, 15 years for other crops. Any traditionally cultivated plant variety which has undergone the process of domestication / improvement through human interventions can be registered and protected subjected to fulfillment of the eligible criteria.

What is DUS Test?

DUS stands for distinctness, uniformity and stability (DUS) of new varieties of plants for the purpose of granting the Breeders’ Right. The new variety should be distinct from the other varieties for at least one characteristic to pass in the DUS test. The authority has DUS monitoring centers. The breeder is required to deposit the seed or propagating material including parental line seeds of registered variety to the Authority. The DUS test is done for a fee of `20,000/- and other applicable fees. The person after getting the right can sell the seeds / propagating material in his / her name.

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