Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

Plant Variety Protection (PVP) Workshop
8 December 2011

FANRPAN under the Harmonized Seed Security Project (HaSSP) held a Plant Variety Protection (PVP) Workshop from 23-24 November 2011 at Kopanong hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa. Participants at the workshop were from the four HaSSP countries - Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Each country was represented by the National Seed Authority, the Registrar of Plant Breeders Rights (where present), a legal expert and a representative of the Seed Trade Association.

The objectives of the workshop were:
  • To develop a shared understanding of PVP principles.
  • To develop a shared understanding of best practices in PVP implementation in Africa.
  • To map key stakeholders/institutions active in PVP at national, regional and international levels.
  • To determine the key challenges in the four pilot countries, including gaps in legal frameworks and capacity - for improved PVP.
  • To chart a way forward for each pilot country.
It was noted that the four pilot countries under the HaSSP project are at different levels regarding the implementation of PVP:
  • Zambia: The Plant Breeder's Right Act, number 18 of the Laws of Zambia, was enacted in 2007. The Seed Control and Certification Institute (SCCI) is the designated organization to administer plant variety protection. Currently the SCCI has received nine applications.
  • Zimbabwe: The country uses the Plant Breeders Rights Act, Chapter 18:16, which was enacted in 1973 to enable breeders to protect varieties bred within or outside Zimbabwe. The Head of Seed Services is the Registrar of Plant Breeders Rights. The Act was revised in 2001, to conform to the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) Convention in order for Zimbabwe to accede to UPOV. The process has not yet been completed.
  • Malawi: has a draft Plant Breeders Rights Bill which has not yet been enacted.
  • Swaziland: Presently has no legal plant breeders' rights protection system.
In Africa, four countries are members of UPOV. These are Kenya, Morocco, South Africa and Tunisia.

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