Nigeria: Food Security – FG Unveils Law to Protect Plant Breeders

Abuja — The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Sabo Nanono, has launched the Plant Variety Protection Act 2021 (PVP) to safeguard the intellectual property rights of breeders.

Essentially, plant breeding is the purposeful alteration of plant species to create desired genotypes and phenotypes for specific purposes.

This is just as the minister charged the Nigerian Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) to ensure full implementation of the law, to among other things enhance farmers’ access to quality seeds to boost food production in the country.

While commending the Act which was a brainchild of the NASC, Nanono bemoaned the low budgetary allocation to research, lamenting that the huge chunk of the funds going to research institutes are for salaries and allowances, and not actual research.

He said the development was totally unacceptable adding that this was why the federal government is taking the issue of research seriously.

The minister said, “We need to do something drastic and we need to be serious about research to develop the agricultural sector.”

Harping on the need for proper implementation, the minister said though the country is good at making laws, implementation remained major challenge.

He added that it was important that the PVP act is fully implemented while stakeholders monitored progress.

He said he would not give in to suggestions by some economists on the need to import seed, following claims that the country is in an emergency situation.