Asia, India, China, Middle East, Breeding, Seed, Varieties

Opinion: Indian farmers’ rights and Pepsico’s ‘hot potato’

The revocation of registration granted to the global food giant Pepsico by India’s Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights’ Authority (PPV&FRA) further muddies an already unclear picture for the seed and bio-technology innovation sector in India, writes senior journalist R Srinivasan in an article for The Hindu’s Business Line.

Srinivasan says global media reports with headlines like “India revokes patent for Pepsico’s potatoes” didn’t help. Coming on top of the repeal of the three controversial farm laws by the government, the lay observer may be pardoned for thinking that the Indian farm sector is currently the scene of multiple pitched battles — farmers against an all-powerful government, farmers again against a powerful global multinational and so on.

Unfortunately, the reality is somewhat more complicated than one-sentence media headlines, Srinivasan writes.

“The reality is that India is the world’s fifth largest market for seeds, plant varieties and vegetatively propagated varieties. The market size is estimated at $3 billion a year, although the volume is significant, since India is largely a low-value seeds market. The seed sector is also a large one, with more than 540 registered seed companies operating in India.”

Source: The Hindu/Business Line. Read the full article here
Photo: Vijay Soneji

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