CIOPORA Puts Forward “different-rules-for-different-crops” Proposal at the India - EU Workshop on PV

On February 21 – 23, CIOPORA Secretary General visited India to speak at the two-day International Workshop on India – EU collaboration in Seed Sector Development and PVP (download the agenda). Dr. Krieger was joined by CIOPORA Board members Bruno Etavard and Maarten Leune, as well as the Vice Head Technical Expert for Fruits, Yael Miara.

From l. to r.: Theo Ruys, Moerheim Roses & Trading India, Maarten Leune, RAI/CIOPORA Board, Dr. K. V. Prabhu, Chairperson OOV & FR Authority, Dr. Edgar Krieger, CIOPORA, Bruno Etavard, Meilland Int./CIOPORA Board, and Yael Miara, Grapa/CIOPORA. CIOPORA’s “different-rules-for-different-crops” solution. During the Workshop, evolving mainly around the seed sector, CIOPORA Secretary General addressed the specific character of asexually reproduced crops as well as their high commercial value. He pointed out that due to the ease with which such crops can be commercially reproduced, the Farmers' Rights provision of the Indian PVP & FR Act 2001 presents a real obstacle for the introduction of new varieties to India horticulture. The main idea put forward by CIOPORA is a possibility of differential treatment of vegetatively reproduced plant varieties by the Indian PVP regime or the “different-rules-for-different-crops” solution. One positive outcome of the Workshop was the inclusion of the idea into the official recommendations of the Workshop suggesting to “…consider introducing specific provisions in the Indian law in order to make investments in the horticultural industries more attractive”.

Access to new varieties. On occasion of the Workshop, multilateral negotiations were held between CIOPORA, the Indian Ministry of Agriculture and Welfare, the Indian PPV & FR authority, and the Maharashtra Grape Growers Association. The meeting aimed at a better understanding of the factual and legal situation in Indian horticulture as well as at the clarification of parties’ positions on IP, including finding ways to enhance the IP protection for table grape and other vegetatively reproduced ornamental and fruit varieties in India. The negotiations were initiated by the Maharashtra Grape Growers Association who is seeking access to new table grape varieties for their growers. Currently 90 percent of Maharashtra agricultural area is planted with an older grape variety. The parties compiled a list of actions including (1) to seek improvement of the legal situation for ornamental and fruit varieties; (2) to accelerate the PBR application and granting process; and (3) to intensify communication between CIOPORA and the Indian PBR & FR Authority.

From l. to r.: Ciopora Secretary General Dr. Edgar Kriger with Registrar General of the Indian PVP & FR Authority Dr. R. C. Agrawal, and Secretary of Department of Agriculture Dr. S. K. Pattanayak.

The Workshop was held in the framework of collaboration on experience sharing in PVP between Governments of India, Germany and the Netherlands and was aimed at improving the understanding of the parties' PVP systems. As India is currently seeking investments in its agriculture and horticulture, hence pursuing a broader access to high quality propagating material for local farmers, the workshop served as a stepping stone for building more confidence between European breeding companies and local agriculture. The representatives of UPOV, CPVO, German and Dutch Ministries of Agriculture as well as breeders' associations, including CIOPORA, BDP, and Plantum, were represented at the Workshop.

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