Letter to PPV&FR Authority on its FAQs book and need to withdraw it…..

8:42 am in News by Kavitha

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Mail . <mail@genecampaign.org>
Date: Tue, Dec 10, 2019 at 3:22 PM
Subject: FAQ booklet brought out by the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority and uploaded on official website
To: <chairperson-ppvfra@nic.in>
Cc: <minister-agri@nic.in>, <ns.tomar@sansad.nic.in>, <kotharin@nic.in>, Suman . <suman@genecampaign.org>

 

To:                                                                                                                                                                                           10th December 2019

The Chairperson,

Protection of Plant Varieties &

Farmers’ Rights Authority,

Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare,

NASC Complex, New Delhi 110 012.

Email: chairperson-ppvfra@nic.in

 

Sub: FAQ booklet brought out by the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority and uploaded on official website

 

Dear Dr Prabhu,

 

We write to you with great concern regarding some content in the FAQ booklet brought out by the Authority which is uploaded on the PPV&FR Authority’s official website.

 

Most objectionable is the interpretation of Farmers and Farmers’ Rights which is contrary to the legislative intent exhibited by our law makers during the creation of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act 2001.

 

Several knowledgeable people have sat in Expert Committees and worked with three successive central governments to create the content of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Bill. Two Joint Parliamentary Committees have discussed the draft bill before giving it final shape. The PPV&FR Act emerged as a unique legislation that stands out for the strength it has given to the rights of farmers. No other country has given Farmers Rights (only exemptions) in its sui generis legislation. It is these rights of farmers that have been undermined by the language in the FAQ booklet created by the Authority.

 

We do not believe that the intent of the language is malicious or that there was a deliberate effort to weaken Farmers’ Rights to favour the seed industry but that is unfortunately how it reads.

 

Whereas question 5 of the booklet correctly interprets ‘What are Farmers Rights”, question 78 says “only small and marginal farmers involved in subsistence farming can claim farmers’ rights”.This is simply not true and it is not indicated anywhere in the Act. Any farmer anywhere in India can claim farmers rights to its fullest extent.

 

In question 71 (and 70), it is not farmers’ rights that are mentioned but ‘farmers’ exemptions’. This is ridiculous. India does not grant exemptions to its farmers, it grants rights. The language and the intent of the law is clear on this. Where has ‘exemptions’ come from? This is the language of UPOV, which does not grant farmers rights, only exemptions. India is not a member of UPOV, and in fact it took a conscious decision to move away from the UPOV model and follow its own path in drafting its sui generis law.

 

Equally incorrect is the statement “what is allowed under farmers’ rights is only use of registered variety in a small scale in an unbranded manner”. The PPV&FR Act does proscribe branding of self-produced seed of a registered variety but nowhere does it mention anything about scale. How has the Authority arbitrarily introduced ‘small scale’ on its own?

 

Question 84 is a specific question on the interpretation of farmers’ rights as contained in Section 39 (1) (iv) of the Act. In a piece of creative writing, the Authority’s booklet says “What is permissible under the Farmers Rights in Indian Law is only commercialisation for subsistence farming. Farmers’ rights are applicable only for subsistence and marginal farmers and not for commercial farmers”. Such a condition again is arbitrary and has been introduced by the Authority. It is not to be found anywhere in the PPV& FR Act and hence cannot be included in the FAQ booklet.

 

As you can see, there are grave distortions in the FAQ booklet and all of these distortions tend in one direction, which is that of curtailing the legal rights granted to farmers in the Indian law.  Limits to the practice of Farmers’ Rights cannot be determined by a whimsical interpretation in a booklet published by the Authority.

 

You will appreciate that such a situation cannot be allowed to stand and the booklet must be withdrawn in its present form. It should be revised and reissued so that it is an informative document that is factually correct and without bias.

 

We would be happy to work together with the Authority on this issue if it is so desired. We look forward to hear from you at your earliest convenience.

 

With best wishes,

 

Dr. Suman Sahai

Chairperson, Gene Campaign

 

 

 

Gene Campaign

Lane W-15C/2, Sainik Farms,

Khanpur

New Delhi -110062

Email - mail@genecampaign.org

Web: www.genecampaign.org

 

 

Copy to: Shri NS Tomar, Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare

(Email: minister-agri@nic.in,ns.tomar@sansad.nic.inkotharin@nic.in)

 

Endorsed by:

 

  1. Aasha Ramesh, Women’s Rights Researcher and Activist, Karnataka
  2. Ajmer Singh Lokhowal, State President Punjab, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU)
  3. AK Devison, Kerala Coconut Farmers Association & South India Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements, Kerala
  4. Akash Naoghare, Coordinator, Beejotsav, Nagpur
  5. Ananthoo, Safe Food Alliance, Tamil Nadu
  6. Anita Paul, Grassroots, Uttarakhand
  7. Anitha Reddy, Ankura Mahila Sangha, Karnataka
  8. Apoorva Oza, Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, Ahmedabad
  9. Aruna Rodrigues, Sunray Harvesters, Mhow, Madhya Pradesh
  10. Avik Saha, Lawyer, Jai Kisan Andolan, Delhi
  11. Avil Borkar, Secretary, Gramin Yuva Pragatik Mandal, Bhandara
  12. Badagalapura Nagendra, President, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, Karnataka
  13. Badribhai Joshi, Gujarat Khedut Samaj
  14. Balaji Sankar, Tharcharbu Iyakkam, Sirkali, Tamil Nadu
  15. BhagyaLaxmi, WASSAN, Hyderabad
  16. Chakri, Samalochana, Andhra Pradesh
  17. Chamarasa Mali Patil, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, Karnataka
  18. Chukki Nanjundaswamy, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, Karnataka and Amrithabhoomi
  19. CK Janu, Adivasi Gothra Mahasabha, Kerala
  20. Dahyabhai Patel, President, Kisan Sabha, Gujarat
  21. Debjeet Sarangi, Living Farms, Odisha
  22. Devesh Patel, Madhya Gujarat Sajiv Kheti Mandal
  23. Dhan Singh Sherawat, Bharatiya Kissan Union (BKU), Maharashtra
  24. Dinesh Balam, WASSAN, Hyderabad
  25. Dr Anamik Shah, Vice Chancellor, Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad
  26. Dr Anupam Paul, Agriculture Scientist, Kolkata
  27. Dr Ashish Mital, General Secretary, All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha
  28. Dr Ashok Patel, Former Vice Chancellor, Sardar Krushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University
  29. Dr Debal Deb, Ecologist, CENTDIS, Odisha/West Bengal
  30. Dr G S Koshal, Retd. Director, Department of Agriculture, Government of Madhya Pradesh
  31. Dr K G Mehta, Gujarat Association of Agricultural Sciences (GAAS), Gujarat
  32. Dr K S Varaprasad, Former Director, ICAR-IIOR and International Consultant, Hyderabad
  33. Dr M L Sanyasi Rao, Program Manager, WASSAN, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
  34. Dr Nandita Shah, SHARAN, Mumbai
  35. Dr Nilesh Heda, Secretary, Sanvardhan, Washim, Maharashtra
  36. Dr N P Patel, President, Gujarat Seed Producers’ Association
  37. Dr R A Khimani, Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad
  38. Dr R A Sherasiya, Former Director of Agriculture, Government of Gujarat
  39. Dr Sabyasachi Das, RRA Network, Hyderabad
  40. Dr Satish Gogulwar, Director, Amhi Amchya Arogyasathi, Gadchiroli, Maharashtra
  41. Dr Sudarshan Iyengar, Former Vice Chancellor, Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad
  42. Dr Sujatha Byravan, scientist, Chennai
  43. Dr Tarak Kate, Director, Dharamitra, Wardha, Maharashtra
  44. Dr Uma Shankari, Rashtriya Raithu Seva Samithi, Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh
  45. Dr V Rukmini Rao, Gramya Resource Centre for Women, Hyderabad
  46. Dr V T Sundaramurthy, Ex- Project Coordinator and Principal Scientist and Head, CICR, Coimbatore
  47. Dr.Krishan Bir Chaudhary, Bhartiya Krishak Samaj, New Delhi
  48. Gopi Deva, OFM, Chennai
  49. Gurnam Singh Charuni, Bhartiya Kissan Union, Haryana
  50. Harinath Rao Nagulavancha, Farmer, Nalgonda, Telangana
  51. Harish Panwar, Beej Swaraj Abhiyan, Madhya Pradesh
  52. Hemang Baxi, PPV&FR Consultant, Ahmedabad
  53. Himakiran Anugula, Senaapathy Kangayam Cattle Research Foundation, Tamil Nadu
  54. Jagdish Singh, State President, Bharatiya Kisan Union, Madhya Pradesh
  55. Jayalakshmi,Grameena Mahila Okkuta, Kolar district, Karnataka
  56. JM Veerasangaiah, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, Karnataka
  57. Jyothi Raj, Booshakthi Kendra, Tumkur, Karnataka
  58. K. Sella Mutthu, President, Tamil Nadu Farmers Association, Tamil Nadu
  59. Kannaiyan Subramaniam, South India Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements
  60. Kapil Shah, Jatan, Vadodara, Gujarat
  61. Karri Lakshunnaidu, Farmer, Kandisa village, Srikakulam district, Andhra Pradesh
  62. Kaustubh Pandharipande, Secretary, Samvedana, Nagpur.
  63. Kavitha Kuruganti, Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture (ASHA), Bangalore
  64. Kavitha Srinivasan, MAKAAM-Karnataka, Karnataka
  65. Kirankumar Vissa, Rythu Swarajya Vedika, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
  66. KM Rajegowda, Karnataka Rajya RaithaSangha, Karnataka
  67. Krishna Prasad, Sahaja Samrudha, Karnataka
  68. KT Gangadhar, Karnataka Rajya RaithaSangha, Karnataka
  69. KV Rajkumar, South Indian Sugarcane Growers Association, Tamil Nadu
  70. Laxman Singh Muniya, Lok Jagruti Manch, Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh
  71. Mamatha Yajaman, GAMANA Women’s Collective, Karnataka
  72. MS Selvaraj, VTMS, Tamil Nadu
  73. Nandini Jayaram, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, Karnataka
  74. Nasreen Basha, Tamilnadu Resource Team, Chennai
  75. Nilesh Desai, Beej Swaraj Manch, Bhopal
  76. Nulenuru Shankrappa, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, Karnataka
  77. Pamayan, Adisil Cholai, Madurai, Tamil Nadu
  78. Ponnuthai Sappani, Kalanjium Women Farmers Association, Tamilnadu
  79. Pooran Singh, Working President, Bharatiya Kisan Union, Rajasthan
  80. Prasant Mohanty, NIRMAN, Odisha
  81. Pravin Mote, Director, Center for People’s Collective, Nagpur
  82. Prof Ashok Kundapur, Environment and Energy Pro Activist, Karnataka
  83. Prof Hemant Shah, Economist, Gujarat
  84. Prof Kshitij Urs, Adjunct Professor of Public Poilcy, NLSIU and state coordinator of RRAN Karnataka.
  85. Pushpa Achanta, Women against Sexual Violence & State Repression (WSS), Karnataka
  86. RadhikaRammohan, Restore, Chennai
  87. Raghav Sharan Sharma, All India Agragami Kisan Sabha
  88. Rajani Dave, Gujarat Sarvodaya Mandal
  89. Rajbir Singh Jadaun, State President, Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Uttar Pradesh
  90. Rajveer Singh Jadaun, State President, Bharatiya Kisan Union, Uttar Pradesh
  91. RakeshTikait, National Spokesperson, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU)
  92. Raman, Tula Organic Clothing, Chennai
  93. Ramasubramanian, Samanvaya Consulting, Chennai
  94. Ramesh Patel, Srishti, Ahmedabad
  95. Ramesh, Satvik: Promoting Ecological Agriculture, Bhuj
  96. Rattan Mann, State President, Haryana, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU)
  97. Ravindranath, Kerala Coconut Farmers Association, Kerala
  98. Rohit Parakh, India For Safe Food, Mumbai
  99. Ruldu Singh Mansa, Punjab Kisan Union & Kul Hind Maha Kisan Sabha
  100. S Venkatesan, South Indian Sugarcane Growers Association, Tamil Nadu
  101. SajalKulkarni, RRA Network, Maharashtra
  102. Sanjay Chowdhary, State In Charge, Uttarakhand, BKU
  103. Satnam Singh Cheema, State President, Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Uttarakhand
  104. Seema Kulkarni, Team Member, SOPPECOM, Pune
  105. Sejal Dand and Neeta Hardikar, Anna Suraksha Adhikaar Abhiyan, Gujarat
  106. Selvam Ramasamy, Tamil Nadu Organic Farmers’ Federation, Tamil Nadu
  107. Sharada Gopal, Jagruti, Karnataka
  108. Sharanya Nayak, Deve Vetti, Krushna Saunta and Dhanmati Saunta, Humane Trust, Koraput, Odisha
  109. Sheelu Francis, Women’s Collective, Chennai
  110. Shilpa Vasavada, WGWLO, Ahmedabad
  111. Shiney Varghese, Member, 4th HLPE (High Level Panel of Experts) of the UN Committee on World Food Security, FAO
  112. Soma KP, Women’s rights activist, New Delhi
  113. Stella Issac, Kalanjium Unorganised Workers Union, Tamilnadu
  114. Subha Bharadwaj, Organic Terrace Garden, Tamil Nadu
  115. Sudha Reddy, Eco Foundation for Sustainable Alternatives, Karnataka
  116. Sukhdev Singh Gill, State President, Himachal Pradesh, BharatiyaKisan Union
  117. Sundarrajan, Poovulagin Nanbargal, Tamil Nadu
  118. Suresh Kouth, Bhartiya Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, (Haryana)
  119. Swaraj Das, Project Affected Peoples Association (PAPA), Asansol
  120. Swarna Bhat, Grameena Kooli Karmikare Sanghatane (Grakoos), Karnataka
  121. Swati Desai, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Gujarat
  122. Umendra Dutt, Kheti Virasat Mission, Punjab
  123. Usha Soolapani, Thanal, Kerala
  124. Varsingh Ninama, Lok Jagruti Manch, Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh
  125. Vasant Futane, Sanwad, Amravati
  126. Vidyadhar Olkha, State President,Bhartiya Kissan Union (BKU), Rajasthan
  127. Vijay Jawandhia, Shetkari Sangathana, Wardha
  128. Vijay Panda, Bharat Jan Andolan, Chattisgarh
  129. Virendra Kumar Shrivastava, Laghu Simant Krishak Morcha, Uttar Pradesh
  130. Vitthalbhai Dudhatra, President, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, Gujarat
  131. Yudhvir Singh, National Secretary, Bharatiya Kisan Union & All India Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements