121011 open source seeds

Embed Size (px)

Text of 121011 open source seeds

  • 1. Building open source seed systems towards a protected commonsRamanjaneyulu Centre for Sustainable AgricultureAlliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture

2. Seed realities Yadha Beejam Tatha Phalam Seed basic and self propelling input Green revolution led to loss of crop and genetic diversity Seed market in india is BIG (Rs.10000 crores in 2010) Of the total demand only 30% is met by the public private agencies In this 70% is met by private corporations All technologies packed into seeds Seed is becoming a proprietary input 3. Key questions Protecting farmers rights over their germplasm, in the context ofthree so-called progressive legislations in India PPVFR Act (Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act)under TRIPS compliance obligations BDA (Biological Diversity Act) under CBD obligations for India Seed Bill 2010 to regulate seed market in the country However, both these legislations are basically located within IPRframeworks, that too which primarily uphold breeders andresearchers rights and grant farmers rights almost as residual rights. However, while many of us are often articulating concerns aroundIPRs in various mild and/or rigid forms, many others are goingahead and doing registrations of varieties under the PPVFR Act (andwithout an effective system of surveillance there is no knowing ifthere is any bio-piracy that is happening) 4. Context Existing laws unable to prevent biopiracy Case of neem, Basmati, Naphal wheat etc Broad patents Species patents, gene patents, process patents etc GM contamination Percy Schmeiser case, Bt Bikeneri Narma Changing role of Public sector Withdrawl PPPs IPR based restructuring of Seed Industry 5. Technology evolution. Wild germplasm Systematic Plant Breeding Modern Biotechnology Elite OPTissue CultureLandraces PopulationsGenetic Hybrid Engineering Composites Domestication OP Inbred varietiesInbreds/Hybrids 6. Monoculturing crops, genes Total plant sp.: 250,000Edible plant sp.: 50,000 Plant sp. used for food: 25090% cal. In human diet from: 1560% calories In human diet from: 3 HYVs & Hybrids have narrow genetic base Genetic Engineering has led to further monoculturing of genes 7. Bt cotton case 2002: Three hybrids of Bt cotton were introducedin India by Mahyco Monsanto Biotech Ltd(MMB). Prices were fixed at Rs. 1800 per packet of 450 gwhich can be used to sow in an acre In 2005 Rasi and Ankur seeds which also developed Btcotton in license agreement with MMB also gotapproval for their Bt hybrid seeds License agreement show that the Indian companieswhich entered into the agreement have to payupfront Rs. 50 lakhs and an amount annually fixed byMMB. They were asked to pay Rs 1200 on everypacket initially. 8. Issue of compensation on failure 2005: after establishment of large scale cottonseed failure in Warangal dist, State governmentasked Mahyco to pay compensation. This company refused to pay and moved to APhigh court on paying compensation saying stategovt is harassing them. AP High court orders alsowere in favour of Mahyco and till date thecompany has not paid the compensation 9. MRTP Case2006: AP government filed a case with MRTP Commission requestingthat Commission to declare the agreement between Indian seedcompanies and MMB as void as it is leading to monopoly andincrease in seed prices MMB maintained that it is not monopoly as other events (Nath seeds and JK agri genetics) were approved. MRTP ruled that the royalty collected is higher the state government should take action to reduce it. As there was no law to regulate the seed prices, AP state government used its power under granting trade licenses under Seed Control Order based on Essential Commodities act, 1955 The prices of Bt cotton seed were fixed at Rs 750 a packet (450 gm) and Rs 925 in 2006 for Bt 1 and Bt 2 respectively. This was further reduced to Rs 650 and Rs 750 respectively in 2008. As the Agreement between MMB and Indian Seed Companies continues to exists they still have to pay the royalty as demanded by the company. 10. Post MRTP case The industry quickly changed the recommendationfrom one packet (of 450 g to two packets of 450 gper acre) which quickly doubled their business. MMB was collecting royalty of Rs 150 and Rs 225 onBollgard-I and Bollgard-II respectively. In 2006, after MRTP commissions ruling to reducethe bt cotton seed price, AP government reducedthe cotton seed prices to Rs. 650 and Rs. 750 forbollgard I and II. Challenging this, MMB moved toDelhi high court on this issue. 11. Meddling with Essential Commodities Act 2007: Central government has amended the Essential CommoditiesAct removing Cotton seed from the list. This nullified the seedcontrol order. When Agriculture officers in Warangal district found that MahycoBt hybrids are being sold in Warangal market, they raided andseized the shop. Mahyco challenged that cotton seed was removedfrom Essential Commodities Act, hence Seed control order whichdraws powers from EC Act does not apply to cotton. AP Government came up with a new act to regulate the Transgeniccotton seed which was more stringent.. 2008: Cotton seed was brought back into Essential CommoditiesAct 2012: AP government still struggling to make a seed law as theCentral Act is still pending 12. Life in queues 13. Cost of a 450 g seed bagCompanies dont want to cut royalty case Unregulated Royalties 2010: Seed companies approachedSeed procurement, Rs. 288.00 the govts to increase the seed pricesprocessing, treatment and as they have to pay the royalties upproduction to Rs. 156.00Supervision, quality control, Rs. 60.00 AP government didnt agree toPacking etc (450 g)reduce seed price, but fixed prices asRefugeRs. 20 Rs. 650 BG-I, Rs. 750 for BG-II which(pigeonpea)/ Rs. effectively reduced the royalty to Rs.73.0050/- for Bollgard-I and Rs. 90/- forDistribution & after salesRs. 38.00Bollgard-IIservice , Market In 2010, Monsanto filed case in AP High Court requesting to stop stateFinancial and Admin costs Rs. 92.00 govt from reducing the royaltyResearch cost Rs. 95.00arguing that it does not have anyTotal cost per packet (450 g) Rs. 593.00 power to do so. The case is still pending in the court.Trait fee payable Rs. 165.00 2011: Bt cotton seed for 2011-12 toDistribution retail costs Rs. 198.09 Rs 830 for BG-I trait and Rs 930 for(21.5%)BG-II trait.Total Rs. 773.00 2012: Rs 850 for BG-I and Rs 1,050(National Seedmen Association of India)for BG-II 14. Bt brinjal case UAS dharwar had a licensing agreement withMahyco and Monsanto to develop Bt Brinjalunder ABSP-II project As per the BDA a prior permission from NBA isneeded which was never taken After Karnataka biodiversity board made acomplaint, NBA and Environ Min announcedan action Not initiated even today 15. Therefore. How to ensure Free and fair access to farmers to quality seeds? How to prevent others from gaining IPRs on farmers resources? Can we use the NBPGR registry as the way by which weestablish prior art, without walking into an IPR frameworkourselves Additionally establish a Linux-equivalent system when it comes toSeed: an open source system which allows for physical and legalaccess, on the condition that no one else down the line gets anyexclusive rights over the material either. In a sense, it is a systemthat does not rest on any laws, but the way MTAs and MUAs aredrawn up Institutional systems that can help to take this forward How do we protect farmers knowledge on using biodiversity How do we regulate the seed market? 16. Why open source? Users as co-developers Options for local customization/adaptation Free to share rather than exclusive use Helps further spread as the license agreementcalls for further adapting open source license,hence it would be protected commons 17. How? The variety will be made available with a GPL or asimilar document explicitly stating rights and claims. The varieties will be in the public domain or coveredunder plant breeders/farmers rights without restrictingthe rights of others to experiment, innovate, share theseeds or exchange seeds. There will be no restriction on using this to developnew varieties or to experiment with but it is essentialthat the variety derived from this should also beavailable without any monopolistic claims andrestrictions on further development. 18. Implementing open source An agency which can coordinate such activities and act asan agency for bringing together breeders and farmers andfor guiding farmers on aspects related to IPRs. There could be a common pool to which farmers cancontribute and from which they can ask for samples; andthis common pool of germplasm can also exchangematerials with others under Material Transfer Agreements(MTAs) and Technology Use Agreements (TUAs) It can be partnership between farmers, farmer breeders,farmer cooperatives, NGOs, Research institutions etc 19. General Public License Plant germplasm designated as GPL is freely availablefor use in any breeding program Any cultivar a breeder develops thats has GPL plantgermplasm in pedigree must also be designated as GPLGermplasm The license specifies that The germplasm if is designated as GPL By using this germplasm in any crop development the recipient acknowledges that any varieties derived in whole or part from GPL germplasm must likewise be designated as GPL and made available to other breeding programs A sample of the GPL germplasm should be placed with the coordinating agency with all details for VCU 20. How useful? Helps to increase access to plant germplasm freely Prevent or impede Biopiracy Use of farmer derived genetic resources in proprietary breeding Further development of GMOs Develop a legal/institutional framework that recognizes farmers collective sovereignty over seeds That allows farmers to freely exchange, save, improve, and sell seeds In which farmers cooperate with farmer breeders/ scientists/ institutions in the development of new plant varietie