India backs Seed Treaty targets

narendra singh fao
Narendra Singh Tomar at the opening ceremony ITPGRFA

Rome, Italy (NVI): India has told the Seed Treaty nations that “Conservation of plant genetic resources is the shared responsibility of humanity,” and that New Delhi will be forthcoming to support all global efforts in this regard.

While addressing the Opening Ceremony of the Governing Body of International Treaty of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) here, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said:  “crop biodiversity is part and parcel of life in India and whose indigenous people, peasants have shaped the crop genetic resources that form the basis for breeding elsewhere in the world.”

The Governing Body sessions are biennial in which delegates from 146 countries, international organizations, civil societies, farmers’ organizations, FAO officials and UN organizations participated. The session started on 11th November and will go on till 16th November.

Tomar, while informing about the uniqueness of Indian legislation “Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Act” to protect Farmers’ Rights and breeder’s rights, said that in Indian legislation a farmer is entitled to save, use, sow, resow, exchange, share or sell his farm produce including seed of a variety protected under the PPV&FR Act, 2001 except brand name, and our legislation is fully compliant to article 9 of the Treaty.

“Under the provisions of this Act, 138 farmers and farming communities have been awarded with Plant Genome Saviour Awards. India has received about 16,620 applications for Plant Variety Protection out of which 10,920 (66%) have been received from farmers alone. Also, the PPV&FR Authority has registered about 3631 plant varieties out of which 1597 (44%) belong to the farmers”, he added.

ITPGRFA also known as Seed Treaty, is a comprehensive international agreement for ensuring food security through the conservation, exchange and sustainable use of the world’s plant genetic resources for food and agriculture (PGRFA), as well as the fair and equitable benefit sharing arising from its use. It also recognizes farmers’ rights, subject to national laws.

-sb