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Jindal Global Law Review




The realities of the food crisis form the background to the discussion of India’s endeavor to tackle the issues relating to agriculture with special emphasis on the nation’s efforts to promote farmers’ rights under the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2004 (PPVFA). The story of the PPVFA is interesting because the legislation represents India’s fulfillment of its international obligations by introducing breeders’ rights while simultaneously recognizing farmers’ traditional rights. Thus, Part I of this article outlines the steps India took to promote farmers’ rights as part of enacting a legislation to protect breeders’ rights to fulfill its obligations under Article 27(3) of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). After discussing the three types of protection regimes, this part then outlines the interaction between the three protection regimes that characterize the unique nature of the PPVFA, with particular emphasis on farmers’ rights. Part II addresses the central thesis of this paper. This part highlights that while it is important that small farmers are not deprived of their traditional rights, helping farmers cannot be limited to creating or protecting existing rights. It necessitates preserving markets, which goes beyond the simple question of farmer versus breeder. Thus, this part outlines the various strategies (not solutions) that India can adopt to create markets for its farmers in the context of the overall issues currently prevalent in international agricultural trade.

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