Plant breeders and farmers are set to reap the benefits of their efforts following President Muhammadu Buhari’s signing of the Plant Variety Protection (PVP) Bill into law.
Stakeholders in the agricultural sector had described the absence of the PVP law, which protects the intellectual property of varieties developed by breeders and farmers as the bane of investment and progress in the sector.
While reacting to the presidential assent, the Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture and Research Institutions, Munir Agundi, thanked the president for his timely intervention in reforming the sector and for addressing the concerns of Nigerians about diversifying the economy by giving agriculture a priority. In a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, he said by assenting to the PVP Act, 2021, Buhari had given impetus to agricultural growth in the country.
Agundi, who sponsored the PVP Act, 2021, said the ability of the nation’s agricultural systems to sustainably support innovations in the seed sub-sector was not within acceptable bounds and to avert the looming food insecurity, there is an urgent need to open up the research and development in the seed sub-sector for improved agricultural productivity in the country.
“The president, by signing this law which creates a window for the protection of plant varieties in Nigeria and provides recognition and proper remuneration for the breeders who develop these varieties, has introduced the long-awaited game changing tool for agricultural research to create meaningful impact in the nation’s agricultural industry. With the PVP Act in place, plant breeders, both in the public and private sectors, will now be more committed to invest their intellectual prowess in plant breeding.”