The new policy brief published by APBREBES speaks about the contradictions between the right that farmers have to save, use, exchange and sell farm-saved seed/propagating material and the Breeders Rights in line with the 1991 Convention of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 91). Those contradictions are a major concern in the negotiations for the realization of Farmers' Rights under the ITPGRFA.
The clash between Farmers Right’s and Plant Breeders Right’s in line with UPOV 91 appeared at several occasions during the 8th Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) which was held at the FAO headquater in Rome from November 11 – 16th. This article intends to give a short overview on this dispute.
APBREBES Statement, UPOV Council November 1st, 2019 – Communication Strategy and Interrelations with the International Treaty
UPOV’s bodies met in Geneva from 27th October to 1st November.
A Policy Brief by the Association for Plant Breeding for the Benefit of Society (APBREBES)
It is often argued by the proponents of the UPOV system, that membership of UPOV is a prerequisite to promote breeding activities and support development of a national seed market. But the recently published Access to Seed Index data seems to confirm that there is no causal relationship between the UPOV system and a dynamic seed sector. On the contrary, countries with a non-UPOV sui generis plant variety protection (PVP) legislation or even without a PVP legislation have in some regions the most vibrant seed sector.
French : Faillite de la protection intellectuelle des obtentions végétales : 10 années d’UPOV en Afrique francophone, Document de travail
In 1999, under the influence of Geneva-based institutions, developed countries and their seed industry, OAPI introduced Annex X on plant variety protection – modelled on UPOV 1991 – into the regional Bangui Agreement. The adoption of Annex X followed promises of agricultural transformation through emergence of a competitive commercial seed sector, foreign investment in breeding, the availability of new foreign plant varieties, significant royalty incomes for national research institutes and overall greater benefit for all levels of society.
More than 10 years after Annex X entered into force on 1 January 2006, the Working Paper studies how Annex X has been operationalized, the impact and relevance of UPOV 1991 for the region and, in particular, whether the promises of UPOV 1991 were ever realized for the 17 countries in the OAPI region.
UPOV’s bodies met in Geneva from 28th October to 2nd November.
The main topics of this report are the discussions on the Explanatory Note on Essentially Derived Varieties, the meeting of ISC Working Group, the Interrelations with the International Treaty and the examination of the conformity of the PVP Act of Afghanistan.
We took note, that no progress was made in the development of the FAQ regarding Interrelations with the International Treaty. We regret the delay in the process. Not because we believe that a revised FAQ will have a fundamental impact on the interrelations between UPOV and the International Treaty, this will certainly not be the case, but because it was decided at the Meeting of the Consultative Committee last year that „As a next step, the Consultative Committee would consider the need for a revision of the current guidance in the “Explanatory Notes on Exceptions to the Breeder's Right under the 1991 Act of the UPOV Convention”. And now we see that this step has not been made.