PROTECTION OF PLANT VARIETIES AND FARMERS’ RIGHTS
India is one of the twelve megadiversity countries of the world
and is considered as a major centre of domestication of crop
plants. Out of this rich biodiversity, the ancient farming
communities from time immemorial had grown and developed a rich
cornucopia of crop plants through selection and adaptations. India
has over 45000 species of plants and fungi, representing 11
percent of the world’s flora. The plant genetic resources provide
essential food, fodder, fibre and other utilities for the
civilization to sustain.
Protection of Plant Varieties in
To provide the establishment of an effective system for the
protection of plant varieties, the rights of farmers and plant
breeders and to encourage the development of new varieties
of plants it had been considered necessary to recognise and
protect the rights of the farmers in respect of their contribution
made at any time in conserving, improving and making available the
plant genetic resources for the development of the new plant
varieties. Moreover, to accelerate agricultural development it is
necessary to protect the plant breeders’ rights to stimulate
investment for research and development for the development of the
new plant varieties. Such a protection is likely to facilitate the
growth of seed industry which will ensure the availability of
right quality seeds and planting materials to the Farmers. India
being a signatory of Trade Related aspects of Intellectual
Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement of the World Trade Organization
(WTO), adopted a sui generis system for plant variety
protection. To give effect to the aforesaid objectives, the
Protection of Plant Verities and Farmers’ Rights bill was
introduced in the parliament of India.
The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Bill having
being passed by both the houses of the Parliament received the
assent of the President of India on 30th October, 2001.
Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority was
established by the Government of India in exercise of power
conferred by Sub Section (1) of the Section 3 of the PPV&FR
Act,2001 by Gazette Notification (S.O. 1589-E) on 11th
November,2005. The PPV&FR Authority operates under the
Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India.
Meanwhile, two branch offices : one at Guwahati and the other at
Ranchi were established during 2011.The Establishment of the
branch offices were notified in the Gazette of India
vide S.O. No. 929 (E) dated April 27.04.2012. .The states of
Assam, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and
Arunachal Pradesh come under its territorial limit of
Guwahati branch office, while the states of Jharkhand, Bihar, West
Bengal, Chattishgarh, Orissa and Andamand and Nicober
Islands come under the territorial limit of the Ranchi
branch. Another four branch offices of the Authority will be
opened shortly in the country.
The objectives of the Branch Offices are to facilitate the
registration of Varieties (New, Extant and Essentially Derived
Varieties ) in the PPV&FR Authority and to encourage the
farmers for conserving the plant genetic resources and also
cataloguing of all varieties (Released & Notified/Traditional
varieties/Varieties in public domain/varieties which are not
notified or under sale as Truthfully labelled seed) in the
territorial limits of the branch offices. All applications
received from these states are required to be routed through the
respective branch offices.
Role of Guwahati Branch Office:
As per 11th EFC Memo, main objectives of opening of
this Branch Office at suitable location is to maximize access of
interested groups i.e. farmers and seed industry, to facilitate
the registration of plant varieties and for effective
implementation of the PPV & FRA Act, 2001.
In order to achieve the above objectives, Guwahati Branch office
shall discharge the following functions:
Objectives of PPV&FR Act, 2001
- Receiving applications for Registration of Plant Varieties
from the eights states of North Eastern Region
- Preliminary processing of application forms before forwarding
to the head office of PPV&FRA for action.
- Under Section 13(3) a copy of the National Registry of
Plant Varieties is kept at the Branch Office.
- Monitoring the DUS Test Centres.
- Issuing the certified copies of any entry in the National
Register of Varieties.
- Allowing public inspection of National Register of Plant
Varieties on payment of fees.
- Popularizing the Plant Variety Genome Savior Award.
- Assisting the PPV & FR Authority in cataloguing all
varieties of Plants within its Jurisdiction
- Assisting the Authority in collecting statistics with regard
to plant varieties including the contribution of any person at
any time in the evaluation or development of any Plant Variety
- Assisting the Authority in documenting ,indexing and
cataloguing of Farmers’ Varieties.
General functions of the Authority
- To establish an effective system for the protection of plant
varieties, the rights of farmers and plant breeder and to
encourage the development of new varieties of plants.
- To recognise and protect the rights of the farmers in respect
of their contribution made at any time in conserving, improving
and making available the plant genetic resources for the
development of the new plant varieties.
- To accelerate agricultural development in the country, protect
the plant breeders’ rights, stimulate investment for research
and development for the development of the new plant
- To facilitate the growth of seed industry which will ensure
the availability of right quality seeds and planting materials
to the Farmers
The general function of the Authority includes:
Rights under the Act
- Registration of New, Extant and Essentially derived varieties.
- Promote & encourage the development of New Plant
- Protect the rights of the farmers and the breeders.
- Indexing of varieties registered under this Act.
- Documentation, indexing and cataloguing of Farmers’ varieties.
- Ensuring seed availability with the provisions of Compulsory
- Recognizing and rewarding farmers and community.
- Maintenance of the National Register of Plant Varieties.
- Update of database of all plants varieties.
- Maintenance of National Gene Bank.
- Developing DUS test criteria.
- Formulation of general, specific and special test
Government by notification in Official Gazettes specifies the genera
and species for the purpose of registration of varieties. A variety
is eligible for registration under the Act if it essentially fulfils
the criteria of Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability (DUS). As per
section 29.2 of the PPV & FR Act, the Central Government issues
notification in Official Gazettes specifying the genera and species
for the purpose of registration of varieties. So far,
- Breeders’ Right: Breeders will
have the exclusive rights to produce, sell , market, distribute,
import or export the protected variety. Breeders can appoint
agents/licensee and may exercise for civil remeady in case of
infringement of rights.
- Researchers’ Right: Researchers
can use any of the registered variety under the Act for
conducting experiment or research. However,
authorization of the breeder is required where repeated use of
such variety as a parental line is necessary for commercial
production of such other newly developed variety.
- Farmers’ Rights: Farmers
have right to save, use, exchange, share and sell farm produce
of a protected variety, except sale of branded seed. Farmers are
recognized as breeders, conservers. Preservers and cultivators
of traditional varieties. Farmers have the rights to register
the extant varieties, including farmer’s varieties with
exemption from payment of fees.
So far the Central Government has notified 57 crop species for the
purpose of registration. The PPV & FR Authority has
developed “Guidelines for the conduct of species specific
Distinctiveness, Uniformity and Stability” tests or “Specific
Guidelines” for individual crop species. The purpose of these
specific guidelines is to provide detailed practical guidance for
the harmonized examination of DUS and, in particular, to identify
appropriate characteristics for the examination of DUS and
production of harmonized variety descriptions.
The notified 57 species are: 1) Bred Wheat, 2) Durum Wheat, 3)
Dicoccum Wheat, 4) Other Triticum species,
5) Damask Rose, 6) Rice, 7) Pearl Millet, 8)
Pigeon pea , 11) Chickpea, , 12) Green gram, 13)Black
Kidney bean/ French bean , 15) Lentil, 16) Field pea/ Garden pea,
17) Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L. ), 18) Cotton
(Gossypium barbadense L.) 19) Cotton (Gossypium
boreum L.) ,20) Cotton (Gossypium baceaum L.),
21) Jute (Corchorus olitorius L.), 22) Jute (Corchorus
capsularis L.) 23) Sugarcane, 24) Ginger, 25) Turmeric, 26)
Potato, 27) Tomato, 28) Brinjal, 29) Garlic, 30) Onion, 31) Okra,
32) Cabbage, 33) Cauliflower, 34) Black pepper, 35) Small Cardamom,
36) Rose, 37) Chrysanthemum, 38) Castor, 39) Indian Mustard (Brassica
juncea L. Czern & Coss), 40) Karan Rai (Brassica
carinata A Braun), 41) Rapeseed, 42) Gobhi Sarson, 43)
Soybean, 44) Linseed, 45) Groundnut, 46) Sunflower, 47) Safflower,
48) Sesame, 49) Mango, 50) Coconut, 51) Periwinkle (Sadabahar), 52)
Indian Pennywort (Brahmi), 53) Isabogal, 54) Pudina, 55) Cymbidium
Sw. (Orchid), 56) Venda Jones ex. R. Br. (Orchid), 57) Dendrobium
List of Prioritized crops for notification:
Cost of registering a plant variety
|Casuarina (2 Species)
|Citrus (3 Species)
- Form Charges
- Application Form Processing Charges: Rs. 200/-
- Registration Charges:
||Type of Variety
||Essentially Derived Varieties/ New Varieties
|Rs. 5000/-Rs. 7000/-Rs. 10000/-
||Extant Varieties notified under Section
5 of Seed Act,1966
||Extant Varieties about which there is common
|Rs. 2000/- Rs. 3000/-
DUS test fee
DUS Test fees
|Wheat, rice, maize, sorghum, pearl millet,
pigeon pea, chick pea, lentil, mung bean, urd bean, field
pea, kidney bean
|Oilseed crop species
|Black pepper, small cardamom, ginger,
|Tomato, brinjal, okra, cabbage, cauliflower,
||Type of variety
||Rs. 2000/- plus 0.2 percent of the sales value
of the seeds of the registered variety
during the previous year plus 1 percent of royalty, if any
,received during the previous year from the sale proceed of
seeds of a registered variety.
||Extant variety notified under section 5 of the seeds Act
1966 (54 of 1966)
||Rs. 2000/- only
||Extant variety other than the category specified above
||Rs. 2000/- plus 0.1 percent of the sales value of seeds of
the registered variety during the previous year plus 0.5
percent of royalty, if any ,received during the previous
year from the sale proceed of seeds of a registered variety.
Annual fee shall be determined of the basis of declaration given
by the registered breeder or agent or licence regarding the sales
value of the seeds of the variety registered under the Act during
the previous year and royalty , if any, received during the
previous year from the sale proceed of seeds of the registered
variety and verified by the Authority.
Who can help in the process of registration?
- Krishi Vignan Kendra
- State Agricultural Universities
- State Bio- Diversity Board
- Bio- Diversity Management Committee
- State Agricultural Departments
- NGO associated with agricultural development
- Farmers’ Cell of the PPV & FR Authority.
DUS Test Centres: Authority is
maintaining and funding 57 DUS test centres for different crops
with a mandate of example varieties and generation of database for
DUS description as per DUS guidelines of respective crops. The
list of DUS centres is available on the official website of the
The duration of protection of registered varieties is different
for different crops. Which are as follows :
- For trees and vines - 18 years.
- For other crops - 15
- For extant varieties - 15 years.
Pre requisite for filling and application from for
- Denomination assigned to such variety
- Accompanied by an affidavit that variety does not contain any
gene or gene sequences involving terminator technology.
- Complete passport data of parental lines with its geographical
location in India and all such information relating to the
contribution, if any, of any farmers(s), village, community
institution or organization etc in breeding, evolving or
developing the variety.
- Characteristics of variety with description for Novelty,
Distinctiveness, Uniformity and stability.
- A declaration that genetic materials used for breeding of such
variety has been lawfully acquired.
- A breeder or other person making application for registration
shall disclose the use of genetic material conserved by any
tribal or rural families for improvement of such variety.
Application Form: The application for
registration of a variety is to be made in form prescribed by the
PPV & FR Authority.
These filled application forms must be accompanied by the fee
prescribed by the authority.
- Form I- for registration of new variety,
extant variety and farmers’ variety.
- Form II- for essentially derived variety and transgenic
- Technical questionnaire attached with form 1 and form 2 for
detailed information of the concerned variety.
Guidelines for submission of application:
Registration of Farmers’ Varieties
- Application in triplicate must be in writing and signed by the
applicant in their representative Application should be
submitted in hand till farther notice.
- Application will be received only on Monday to Thursday from
10:00 hours to 15:00 hours. No application will be accepted on
Saturday and Sunday and public Holidays.
- Every application must have name of the applicant, their
address and nationality as well as address of service of their
agent (if applicable)
- a person can file up to maximum of the application per day
- Until otherwise notified in the plant variety journal of
India, each application should be accomplished with an
application charges of Rs. 200/- each by demand draft drawn in
favour of “The Registrar PPV & FRA New Delhi
- The Application will be received on “First come First Serve”
- No application will be received after business hours.
- On successful submission of the application, The applicant
will received and acknowledge slip.
- after submission of application it will be processed according
to the provisions of the rule 29(2) of the PPV & FR Rule,
- After depositing the Stipulated Fees for4 conducting DUS
tests, the office of the registrar shall issue receipt and
number which shall be used for all references including the
checking of the status of application on line.
- Farmers’ varieties can be registered in the like manner as any
other category of varieties.
- A farmer, group of farmer or community may apply for the
registration of a farmers’ variety.
- There is no fee for the application and any other proceedings
for the farmers.
- A form has to be filled by the applicant and the complete form
along with the seeds of the variety are to be submitted to the
PPV & FR Authority.
Awards, Rewards and Recognition of farmers: The
PPV & FR Authority confers the Plant Genome Savior Community
Award, Plant Genome Saviour Farmer Rewards and & Plant Genome
Saviour Farmer Recognitions every year. Plant Genome Savior
Community Award is awarded to the community of farmers/farming
community based organizations who have a long track record for
conserving plant agro-biodiversity which is open to all Indian
group of farmers, community of farmers, particularly the tribal
and rural communities engaged in conservation, improvement and
preservation of genetic resources of economic plants and their
wild relatives particularly in the areas identified as agro
bio-diversity hotspots. There shall be maximum of five awards in a
year, consisting of a cash of Rs. Ten lakh each, a citation and a
memento. The Authority also invites applications for the “Plant
Genome Savior “Farmer Reward” & “Farmer Recognition” from the
farmers engaged in the conservation of genetic resources of
landraces and wild relatives of economic plants and their
improvement through selection and preservation and the material so
selected and preserved has been used as donors of gene in
varieties registerable under the PPV&FR Act, 2001 (53 of
2001). There shall be maximum of 10 rewards (comprising of
citation, memento and cash of Rs.One lakh each) and 20
recognitions (consisting of a citation and memento) in a
year. It is essential for the applicants to forward
their application through Chairperson or Secretary of the
Concerned Panchayat Biodiversity Management Committee or Concerned
District Agricultural Officer or Director of Research of concerned
State Agriculture University or concerned District Tribal
Development Office. Farmers whose applications are shortlisted for
Reward and Recognition shall be required to deposit specified
quantity of seeds or propagating material, in due time.
Guwahati Branch Office of the Authority:
The Establishment of the branch offices were notified
in the Gazette of India vide S.O. No. 929 (E) dated April
27.04.2012. After joining of Dr. A.C. Sarma as the founder Deputy
Registrar of Guwahati Branch and other supporting staff the office
was made operational with the space provided by Assam Agricultural
University in its Khanapara Campus. The branch Office of the
Authority was formally inaugurated on 15th Nov. 2012 by Shri
Nilamani Sen Deka, Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture, Horticulture
, Food Processing and Parliamentary Affairs, Govt. of Assam in the
presence of Dr. P.L. Gautam, Chairperson and Dr. R.C. Agrawal,
Registrar General of the Authority, Dr. K.M. Bujarbaruah,Vice
Chancellor, Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat ,
Scientists, Director of Research, Director of Extension, Chief
scientists of Assam Agricultural University,
Agriculture and Horticulture Officers of Govt of Assam, ICAR and
TRA Scientists and farmers.
Creation of awareness on various provisions of the PPV&FR Act,
2001 amongst the farmers, scientists, government officials, public
& private sector and NGOs had been the top priority of the
branch office. Campaign, training cum awareness programmes
was organised by the Authority at various parts of the entire
North Eastern Regions.
In addition to creation of awareness, the Deputy Registrar ,
Guwahati also participated in various
seminars workshops and exhibitions during the years including the
exhibition in Interactive fair for Biodiversity from 1st Oct-2012
to 19th Oct., 2012 held in conjugation with Conference of
the Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity (COP 11) at
Hyderabad, 100 Indian Science Congress at
Kolkata etc. The awareness programmes witnessed the
participation of farmers and scientists agriculture officers
from the region. The Chairperson, Registrar General and Registrar
(Farmers’ Rights) have also visited different ICAR organizations,
KVKs AAU, Tea Research Station and Rain Forest Research
Station , participated in various awareness programmes and
encouraged the farmers , scientists and officers for helping the
farmers in providing the intellectual property rights to the
Branch office organized and participated the first meeting of Task
Force for orchids at Guwahati, Task Force meeting on tea at the
Head Office and also at Tocklai Experimental Station. Visit
to DUS Centre for bamboo, colocasia, citrus, tea
and banana situated at different parts of the North East were also
undertaken. Participation at DUS Test (Rice) monitoring and
Grow out Test of rice varieties Assam Agricultural
University etc As a conserted effort of scientists, officers,
farmers and farming communities the Guwahati branch office has so
far received more than 1000 applications as on February, 2014 .
The applications were after preliminary examination at the branch
office has been forwarded to Head Office. DUS testing of the
candidate varieties will be undertaken to finally issue the
The active participation of the Krishi Vigyan Kendras, ICAR
Organizations, Regional Agricultural Research Stations of Assam
Agricultural University, Central Agricultural University, and
State Departments of Agriculture and Horticulture, scientists,
farmers and farming communities of the North Eastern states in
various activities and contribution towards the growth of the
Authority has been invaluable and appreciable.
Today, the PPV& FR Authority is fully geared to address its
mandate as enshrined in the PPV&FR Act and has achieved great
heights in terms of registration of plant varieties, developing
DUS guidelines for new crops, establishing and supporting DUS test
centers, establishing field gene banks, development of needed
infrastructure, establishing branch offices, organizing /
supporting awareness and capacity building programs, publication
of literature etc.
more details, please visit the Officicial Web Site of PPV &