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HomeAgrotechAgribiotechnologyUse of IPR is important to drive innovation and competitiveness in seed sector: Seed Industry

Use of IPR is important to drive innovation and competitiveness in seed sector: Seed Industry

The experts highlighted the opportunities and challenges in effectively leveraging intellectual property to drive innovation and competitiveness in the seed and biotechnology sectors in India.

The agriculture sector in India is seeing a tremendous shift as it rapidly adopts new technology and innovations. A strong environment for intellectual property rights (IPR) is essential for India to fulfil its goals of becoming a “viksit” by 2047 and maintain its current pace of progress towards Amrit Kaal. Distinguished experts from the seed industry emphasised the importance of a strong intellectual property rights (IPR) environment and effective enforcement at a national conference called “Innovate, Protect, Prosper: Role of Intellectual Property Protection in taking India’s Seed Sector to the Next Level,” which was organised by the Federation of Seed Industry of India (FSII) on May 3 2024.

The experts highlighted the opportunities and challenges in effectively leveraging intellectual property to drive innovation and competitiveness in the seed and biotechnology sectors in India. In order to boost innovation and competition in India’s seed and biotechnology industries, the experts discussed the pros and cons of utilising intellectual property. Improving IP protection and enforcement processes, especially in the seed and biotech industries, easing the process of knowledge transfer and licensing agreements, understanding and complying with complicated regulatory frameworks, and raising stakeholder awareness and ability are all obstacles.

“The acceleration of new innovations and technologies needed for faster growth of agriculture depends on an enabling environment for intellectual property rights protection,” stated Dr Raj S. Paroda, Founder and Chairman of the Trust for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences (TAAS). Innovators are encouraged to do better, invest, and create when they are convinced that their rights will be protected. Spending on breeding new, high-yielding types and hybrids that can withstand both natural and artificial challenges is one good example. The good news is that PPVFRA has given India a one-of-a-kind intellectual property framework that safeguards the interests of both plant breeders and farmers.

Many countries have learned the hard way that they need to strike a balance when it comes to intellectual property rights. Encouraging innovation and investment requires robust IP protection. Innovation may be accelerated and complex problems can be tackled with the help of collaborative research efforts, public-private partnerships, and open innovation frameworks.

India takes a progressive approach towards PVP learning from global best practices in intellectual property rights (IPR) for seeds and agricultural biotechnology. “We must also remember the rights of farmers as custodians of traditional varieties and the need for benefit sharing,” according to Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Chairperson of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), who emphasised the significance of IP learning for the Indian seed industry. An effective intellectual property rights framework will do two things: encourage innovation and guarantee access to technology.

“For the common good of all parties involved, including farmers, conferences like this one are essential in raising seed and biotech industry and regulatory sector IP protection awareness, as well as in fostering discussion and cooperation among stakeholders regarding IP protection strategies, regulatory hurdles, and the trajectory of technology transfer in agriculture going forward.” “Additionally,” Dr Mohapatra stated.

Ajai Rana, Chairman of the FSII and Managing Director and CEO of Savannah Seeds, made the following statement regarding the importance of a well-rounded intellectual property rights (IPR) environment for the seed industry: “There needs to be a multi-faceted and collaborative approach towards building an effective policy and regulatory framework around IPR particularly in the seed industry. To achieve this goal, we must reform our laws, strengthen our institutions, include our stakeholders, and work together internationally to spur innovation that will allow us to address our most critical issues.”

Rana reiterated the need for improved internal intellectual property rights protection and enforcement and pushed for more public-private partnerships to boost R&D initiatives.

India can overcome the challenges it is facing in its seed and biotechnology sectors by developing a sophisticated IP strategy that draws on international best practices and insights. This approach can foster innovation, promote technology transfer, and overcome other obstacles.

By Nitin Konde

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