Agriculture experts have said that the proposed Plant Variety Protection (PVP) Bill will provide intellectual property protection to breeders while improving food security in Nigeria.
The Director-General, National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC), Dr. Philip Ojo, during a virtual meeting organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC) in collaboration with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) explained the status of the PVP bill.
Ojo noted that his agency (NASC) and other relevant stakeholders have facilitated the PVP bill which, he added, was currently awaiting presidential assent.
The webinar was held under the theme: ‘Expert review of the Plant Variety Protection Bill: Significance and Constraints’.
The NASC boss during his presentation titled: “Significance of the PVP Act to the Seeds Subsector and the Nigerian Food and Agriculture Ecosystem,” stated the bill was a legal designation to protect plant breeders in the country.
It will also help to encourage the breeders to get incentives from their inventions, Oyo added.
On her part, the NESG Board ember, Dr. Ndidi Nwuneli, explained the importance of the PVP bill adding that it would unlock a lot of potentials across Nigeria’s Agricultural ecosystem and protect the farmers.
Nwuneli, who doubles as the Co-Founder/Managing Partner of Sahel Consulting Agriculture and Nutrition Limited, emphasised the need for all stakeholders to work collectively to transform Nigeria’s food ecosystem.
In her remarks, without access to alternative sources of food or income, smallholder farmers are highly vulnerable to fluctuations in weather patterns, changes in government support and shifts in both local and international markets.
Also speaking during a panel session, Trade Expert, Trade Law Centre (TRALAC), Western Cape region of South Africa, Dr. Olumuyiwa Bamidele Alaba, divulged that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) does not have specific laws around PVP.
Bamidele, therefore, urged countries to interact and sign negotiating treaties among each other for their plant variety protection.
“ However, there are international laws that espouse Protection of breeders’ rights and that of locals and the investors,” he added.