President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Plant Variety Protection (PVP) Bill into law.
Stakeholders in the agricultural sector had described the absence of the PVP, 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, Hon. Munir Agundi, thanked the president for his timeous intervention in the agricultural sector reforms and for addressing the concerns of Nigerians about diversifying the economy by giving agriculture a priority.
In a statement in Abuja made available to newsmen today, he said by assenting to the Plant Variety Protection 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 sector was not within acceptable bounds and to avert the looming food insecurity, there was an urgent need to open up the research and development in the seed 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 renumeratiomn for the breeders who developed these varieties have introduced the long awaited game changing tool for agricultural research to create meaningful impact in the nation’s agricultural industry with the Plant Variety Protection 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 as there is now a sure guarantee that their rights will be recognized and respected.
“Plant breeders that have invested huge resources in developing plant varieties are now assured that their work cannot be duplicated for commercial purposes without their consent,” he said.
The lawmaker said the Act would enable farmers in the country to gain access to wide varieties of improved plant that would be tolerant to stress and diseases and produce better yield compared to what they had in the past.