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Indian PVP Authority and Grape Growers Show CIOPORA Good Faith

On February 21 – 23, CIOPORA Secretary General visited India to participate and speak at the two-day International Workshop on India – EU collaboration (download the agenda) in Seed Sector Development and PVP. 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.

Picture above (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. CIOPORA managed to draw the attention of the workshop, evolving mainly around topics of the seed sector, to the issues of the vegetatively reproduced varieties. In his presentation, Secretary General emphasized the specific character of asexual reproduction and trade in ornamentals and fruits, high commercial value of the horticultural produce and, therefore, the need for special treatment of CIOPORA’s crops by the policy-makers. The presentation underlined the problematic character of Farmers’ Rights, which according to the Indian PVP act also apply to vegetatively propagated varieties. While it was clearly stated by the Indian side that Farmers’ Rights provision will not be changed for the subsistence crops, CIOPORA’s “different-rules-for-different-crops” message was well received and found its way into the official recommendations of the Workshop, which is to “…consider introducing specific provisions in the Indian law in order to make investments in the horticultural industries more attractive”.

A report with a detailed account of presentations was drafted by Yael Miara. Additionally, in preparation to the workshop, a series of questions on Indian PVP were submitted by several breeders’ organizations to the Indian PBR & FR authority, answers to which can now be downloaded on our website.

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

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 as currently 90 percent of Maharashtra agricultural area is planted with an older grape variety. As a result of the meeting, a list of actions was agreed upon by the parties, including (1) to improve the legal situation for ornamental and fruit varieties, so that CIOPORA might come to different conclusions as to the effectiveness of the India PBR law; (2) to accelerate the PBR application and granting process; and (3) to intensify communication between CIOPORA and the Indian PBR & FR Authority. Finally, CIOPORA extended an invitation to the upcoming CIOPORA AGM 2018 to the Registrar General of the Indian PBR & FR Authority Dr. Agrawal, who could inform CIOPORA members about the latest developments in the Indian PVP during the AGM IP Part. Dr. Agrawal’s participation is yet to be confirmed.


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