The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has lauded the Senate for passing the Plant Variety protection Bill (PVP) into law on the March 3.
A statement by the NESG said the PVP Bill (HB 68) was read for the third time and passed into law by the Senate after several months of deliberations.
The Plant Variety Protection Bill was read for the first time in the Senate on February 16, and is in concurrence with passage of the Bill by the House of Representatives on the December 17.
The statement further explained that through the Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA), together with AGRA, the Rockefeller Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID, the NESG has been collaborating with the Nigeria Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) to support the enactment of legislation that would “provide a plant variety protection system that will incentivise national and multinational agribusiness investments and aid the development of Nigeria’s Agriculture value chain.”
The statement hinted that the passage and implementation of the PVP bill would give plant breeders intellectual property over a new plant variety, with exclusive rights to commercialize seed and/or propagation material of the variety.
“The PVP also promotes marketing of new varieties and allow breeders to earn back the considerable costs involved in the long process of variety development. Furthermore, a well-functioning PVP system will encourage in-country breeding activities; this will also attract foreign companies to introduce high quality improved varieties, knowing that others cannot easily copy their effort or take advantage of it. Once the PVP Law is passed and implemented in Nigeria, the country will move from generating $0 from seeds export to generating well over $2.0 billion from seeds export within the first five years,” it said.
“While commending the National Assembly for its role in ensuring the passage of the PVP Bill, we implore the government to act speedily in ensuring that this legislation is signed into law, as we believe that the measures set out in the PVP Bill will create a more appropriate system that meets today’s realities, improve the business environment and general agricultural performance across the economy as a whole,” it added.