The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has said that the Plant Variety Protection (PVP) Bill recently signed into law will boost Nigeria’s seed export revenue by $2 billion.
The bill was passed by the House of Representatives in December 2020 and later by the senate in March 2021 after several months of deliberation.
The NESG has been in collaboration with the Nigeria Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) to promote the enactment of a legislation that would provide a plant variety protection system.
NESG has also been in partnership with the National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable (NASSBER), Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA), Rockefeller Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the USAID.
Head of Corporate Communication, NESG, Yinka Iyinolakan stated that the passage and implementation of the bill will give plant breeders intellectual property over a new plant variety, with exclusive rights to commercialise seed and/or propagation material of the variety.
Yinka further stated, “The PVP also promotes marketing of new varieties and allows breeders to earn back the considerable costs involved in the long process of variety development.
“Once the PVP law is fully implemented in Nigeria, the country will move from generating $0 from seeds export to generating well over $2 billion from seeds export within the first five years.”
According to him, a well-functioning PVP system will encourage in-country breeding activities; this will also attract foreign companies to introduce high-quality improved varieties, knowing that others cannot easily copy their effort or take advantage of it.
NESG also appreciated the efforts of the National Assembly and the Federal Government in signing the PVP Bill into law.
The group urged the government, the NASC, the seeds sector, all players in the food and agriculture seeds ecosystem, trade and investment, science and digital innovation and all stakeholders to ensure that implementation guidelines are properly set and act speedily in ensuring that critical aspects of the Bill are effectively implemented.
NESG further revealed that it will continue to partner stakeholders in the agricultural ecosystem and other sectors to improve the PVP Act and ensure it is beneficial to plant breeders, smallholder farmers and every stakeholder in the Nigerian Agricultural ecosystem.