By Chinyere Anyanwu
The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has commended the Federal Government for signing the Plant Variety Protection (PVP) Bill into law on May 21, 2021.
NESG said the implementation of the law would generate $2 billion from seed export in five years. The PVP Bill was passed by the House of Representatives on December 17, 2020 and the Senate on March 3, 2021, following several months of deliberation. NESG said through the National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable (NASSBER), the Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA), together with AGRA, the Rockefeller Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID, the Group has been collaborating with the Nigeria Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) to support the enacting of legislation that will provide a PVP system that will incentivise national and multinational agribusiness investments and aid the development of Nigeria’s agriculture value chain.
A statement by Yinka Iyinolakan, Head, Corporate Communications, NESG, said the passage and implementation of the PVP Bill will give plant breeders intellectual property over new plant varieties, with exclusive rights to commercialise seed and/or propagation material of the variety.
“The PVP also promotes marketing of new varieties and allows breeders to earn back the considerable costs involved in the long process of variety development. Furthermore, a well-functioning PVP system will encourage in-country breeding activities, which will also attract foreign companies to introduce high quality improved varieties, knowing that others cannot easily copy their effort or take advantage of it. Once the PVP Law is fully implemented in Nigeria, the country will move from generating $0 from seeds export to generating well over $2 billion from seeds export within the first five years,” the statement noted.
While commending the National Assembly and the government for signing the PVP Bill into law, NESG implored the government, NASC, the seeds sector, all players in the food and agriculture seeds ecosystem, trade and investment, science and digital innovation, sustainability and all stakeholders to ensure implementation guidelines are properly set and act speedily in ensuring that critical aspects of the bill are effectively implemented.