Farmers Protection Committee (NFPC) has urged the central
government to put up a claim for compensation for the
15,000 rice germ plasma that were allegedly taken away
from India through International Rice Research Institute
(IRRI), in the light of claims for payment of royalty
for use of genetic resources.
NFPC chairman K Ravikumar says IRRI was established by
Rockefeller and Ford foundations to enhance the American
dominance in rice research and business system. Sustainable
development and intellectual property rights on agriculture
are incompatible. The US court of appeal has blocked a
Mississippi farmer from holding back harvested soyabeans
crop that can be used as seed in the next season.
Monsanto Corp took him to court for breaching the technology
agreement signed with it, stipulating that farmers who
buy the round-up ready soyabean seeds from Monsanto
should not hold back the harvested plant to be used as
seeds in the next season. The court ruled: The restriction
on the technology agreement was within the scope of the
patent grant, for the patents cover the seeds as well
as the plants.
The natural extension of such a logic will be to go in
for terminator seeds that do not germinate the second
time. India is a voluntary signatory to the International
Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants Convention
The Act recognises and ensures the intellectual property
rights of the breeder of a new plant variety and prescribes
that any national legislation must be within reasonable
limits safeguarding the legitimate interests of the breeder.
The US court has defined the legitimate interest of the
breeder to mean compensation or remuneration to the breeder
for the use of farm-saved seeds.
The implication is that the farmer will have to keep buying
his seeds from Monsanto every year instead of propagating
the seeds himself. This goes against the freedom of the
farmer to produce his own seeds and will make the farming
sector totally dependent on the agri-business companies,
He says the worst part of UPOV was that in the case of
a crop failure owing to basic deficiency in the seeds,
the convention does not automatically hold the breeder
responsible. The BT cotton in India, according to reports,
has been a disaster. While the crop escaped ball worms,
it attracted other pests that destroyed the crop up to
100 per cent, according to a study conducted by Mihir
Shan and Derasuis Banerji.
statement said the developed countries are better equipped
to research and evolve new plant varieties. It is going
to be their monopoly. The developing countries should
oppose the IPR regime in the agriculture sector, says