What is Plant variety Protection? Examine the role of Pressure Groups and NGOs in ensuring the Farmer's Rights in the legislation of Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer's Rights Act 2001.

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.
The role of Pressure Groups and NGOs
The Plant Variety protection bill initially had not included the right of farmers to use and sale of the farm saved seeds. It was the efforts of NGOs and Pressure groups that led to several amendments in the bill and finally the PPVFR Act having a separate chapter dedicated on Rights and a system for registration of farmers’ varieties. (206 words)


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