Plant Breeders Bill goes through second reading

The Plant Breeders Bill, 2013, which seeks to establish a legal framework to provide and promote an effective system of plant variety protection, went through its second reading on Friday in Parliament.

The Bill, also called the plant breeders right, an exclusive right granted to the breeder of the new plant to exploit its varieties, aims at providing incentives to investors and researchers interested in breeding to pursue innovation in the development of new varieties of plant for the benefit of society.

This it does by adopting the intellectual property protection model of making available to plant breeders, exclusive rights on the basis of a set of uniform and clearly defined principles.

Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, who presided, realized some members had identified problem with some portions of the bill and noted that at the consideration stage, such issues would be looked at.

A Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Report on the bill noted that almost all countries, including Ghana’s neighbours like Burkina Faso and Cote D’Ivoire, were making efforts to provide plant variety protection and that Ghanaian plant breeders would be at a disadvantage without any legal protection, particularly in the advent of generic engineering.

The report explained that while it took up to 10 years or more to develop a plant variety of most plant species by conventional plant breeding, generic engineering offered the prospect of the creation of species and variety in a much shorter time using transfer of genes into genomes.

The committee expressed optimism that the bill would create and promote an enabling environment for all stakeholders in the industry.

The House also debated the Value Added Tax Bill, 2013, which is at the consideration stage.

Source: GNA

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