Plant Breeding News: Protecting Crop Varieties Boosts Plant Breeding

Uganda: An important aspect of the agriculture sector is the protection of new varieties of plants. Among others, it facilitates access to improved plant varieties, a key input in farming through protection of the breeder to exclusively benefit from commercial exploitation of their improved variety. This motivates the breeder to invest in research for new varieties, which are eventually made accessible to farmers through the system of plant variety protection.

African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (Aripo) Member countries, including Uganda, have adopted a protocol on the protection of new varieties of plants. This shall be known as the Arusha Protocol on the Protection of New Plant Varieties (Plant Breeders' Rights). The protocol was adopted by Aripo's Council of Ministers, which is chaired by Uganda's Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Kahinda Otafiire.

For Uganda to realise its potential as a regional food basket, protection of new varieties of plants regionally is key.Through the plant variety protection system, a breeder of a new plant variety once protected, has a right and opportunity to become the exclusive marketer of the plant, or license it to others.

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