The Protection Of Plant Varieties & Farmers' Rights Authority

The Act establishes an Authority to be known as the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority. It shall, among other things, maintain at its head office at New Delhi a National Register of Plant Varieties. The authority consists of a Chairperson, and 15 members of whom 8 shall be ex- officio: Agriculture Commissioner of India; Dy. Director General in Charge of Crop Sciences; Jt. Secretary, in charge of seeds Government of India; Horticulture Commissioner, Government of India; Director, National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources; one Representative each (Jt. Secretary or above), from Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Environment and Forests Ministry of Law, Justice and Company affairs, of the Government of India. Seven other members shall represent other institutions as follows:

-one representative each from a National or State level farmers’ organisation, a tribal organisation, the seed industry, an agricultural university, a national or State level women’s organisation associated with agricultural activities; and

-two representatives of State Governments on rotation basis.

The Registrar General will be an ex-officio member. Non ex-officio members shall be nominated by the Central Government.

Functions of the Authority

The Authority has been charged with the duty to encourage the development of new varieties of plants and to protect the rights of the farmers’ and breeders’. The measures may provide for registration of new extant plant varieties, developing characterisation and documentation of varieties, documentation indexing and cataloguing of farmers’ varieties; compulsory cataloguing facilities for all varieties of plant; ensuring that the seeds of the registered varieties are available to the farmers and providing for compulsory licensing of such varieties if the breeder or the producer does not arrange for production and sale of the seeds; collecting statistics relating to plant varieties including the contribution of any person in the evolution of any plant variety for compilation and publication; and ensuring the maintenance of the registration.

The Authority or the Registrar shall have all the powers of the Civil Court for the purposes of receiving evidence, administering oaths, enforcing the attendance of witnesses, compelling the discovery and production of documents and issuing commissions for the examination of witnesses.

Registry

The Authority may appoint a Registrar General of Plant Varieties and such number of Registrars as it thinks necessary for registration of plant varieties the national register of plant varieties kept at the head office of the registry shall contains names of all the registered plant varieties with the names and addresses of respective breeders, the right of such breeders in respect of the registered variety, the particulars of the denomination of each variety, its seed or other propagating material.