The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has stated that it will implement the Plant Variety Protection (PVP) law to the letter.
The PVP law gives breeders intellectual property over new plant varieties including exclusive rights to commercialise seeds.
The Deputy Director-General of the Council, Professor Paul Bosu, stated this in his submission at a two-day national advocacy and awareness creation workshop in Accra, yesterday.
It aimed at promoting the PVP system in the country and ensure that the local seed industry would record a turnaround in productivity as the law would accelerate investments and give farmers more access to quality seeds.
He said that the law would give impetus to agricultural growth in the country and enable plant breeders and farmers reap the benefits of their efforts, describing the long absence of the PVP law as the bane of investment and progress in the sector.
“This law will bring out clearly, going forward the contribution of plant breeding to the Ghanaian agricultural sector and begin to see on farmers’ fields superior yielding, stress tolerance, disease resistant, climate-smart and input efficient varieties” he stated.
He added that the law would enable country witness efficient land use and reduced food cost as a result of increased productivity from cultivated hectares across the country.
The Chief Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Mr Patrick Ankobiah, said many African countries had started considering the introduction of a system for the protection of new developed varieties of plants, based on the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), in order to provide an effective and internationally recognised system.
He said most seed companies in Africa were not engaged in plant breeding because almost all the varieties in the commercial portfolio of seed companies were public bred by agricultural research institutions and universities.
The Chief Director was of the view that it was important to protect the rights of plant breeders for the development of quality plant varieties.
Mr Ankobiah said despite the benefits derived from government’s agricultural flagship’s programmes, the country had not yet developed and begun implementing a legal framework for the protection of such plant varieties within an intellectual property rights system.
BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY