PepsiCo, a multi-million dollar conglomerate, has sued Gujarati farmers asking them to pay ₹1.05 crore each for alleged violation of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).
The company claimed that farmers violated its patent rights by cultivating the potato variety used in its chips product named Lays.
However, after facing boycott calls by potato farmers and the government’s pressure, PepsiCo has offered to withdraw the case if the farmers stop growing the registered potato variety used in its Lays chips.
This issue highlights the importance of seed sovereignty and the role played by the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Act, 2001 in protecting the rights of the farmers and prevent seed monopoly.
This article explains the following in an analytical manner with a mindmap for quick revision:
- What is the issue?
- What is PepsiCo’s perspective?
- What is the farmers’ perspective?
- What is contract farming?
- What is seed sovereignty?
- What are the salient features of Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV&FR) Act, 2001?
- Why is the PPV&FR Act significant?
- What is the way forward?
Amidst protest from the opposition and a section of farmer’s organizations, the Monsoon Session of the Lok Sabha passed three agriculture sector bills which will replace the existing ordinances. The bills have led to intensifying protests by farmers in states like Punjab, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh despite COVID-19. Recently, three bills were introduced in the Punjab legislative assembly to negate the Centre’s agriculture laws provide for imprisonment of not less than three years and fine for the sale-purchase of wheat or paddy under a farming agreement below the Minimum Support Price.
The Union Cabinet has approved the Agriculture Export Policy in December 2018. The policy would support the government in reaching the target of doubling farmers income by 2022. The aim of the policy is to utilize the export potential of Indian agriculture, by means of appropriate policy instruments and make India a global power in agriculture and raise farmers income.
The department of animal husbandry and dairying released the 20th livestock census in October 2019.
What is livestock-
Domestication of animals raised in an agricultural setting to gain labour and products such as meat, eggs, milk, fur, etc.
Livestock rearing, Dairying, Fisheries activities, along with agriculture, are an integral part of human life since the start of civilization. These activities have helped to improve the food basket and to gain draught animal power. As a result of conducive climate and topography, Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries Sectors have played a prominent socio-economic role in India.
They play a significant role in generating employment in the rural sector, mainly among the landless, small and marginal farmers and women, apart from providing cheap and nutritious food to millions. They act as the ‘‘bank on hooves’’.