International Development and Intellectual Property: The Impact of Seed Exchange and Replacement on Innovation among Small-Scale Farmers in India
This international and interdisciplinary collaboration received funding from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Global Challenges award. The 9-month project concluded with the Sustainable Seed Innovation Round-table in Bangalore. The event’s objective was to identify ways to support sustainable seed innovation with a particular focus on intellectual property.
Traditional agriculture in the fullest sense involves sustainable seed innovation.
Historically farmers selected the best seeds, saved them from one season to another and exchanged seeds with other farmers. Periodically new varieties developed through this system of cultivation, seed selection, and exchange. India’s incredible agro-biodiversity is not just due to environmental conditions, but also the innovation of farmers over thousands of years.
Sustainable seed innovation requires: i) the conservation of traditional varieties and ii) farmer innovation of new varieties through seed selection. Genetic material can be preserved through seed banks (ex-situ conservation), while cultivation of traditional varieties ensures continual adaptation to local conditions (in-situ conservation). Groups supporting traditional agricultural practices and the farmers following these practices have achieved the first step of sustainable seed innovation. The second step of innovating new varieties happens less often and does not receive the recognition and encouragement deserved.
|09:30||Arrivals: Tea and Coffee|
|10:00-10:10||Rugmani Prabhakar, Head – Sustainable Development-The Art of Living Foundation||Introduction to the Round Table Series|
|10:10-10:30||Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Gurudev||Inauguration Lamp Lighting and Welcome|
|10:30-10:40||Professor Gregory Radick, University of Leeds||Innovation, Plant Breeding and Intellectual Property|
|10:45-10:55||Dr. Mrinalini Kochupillai, Max Planck Institute of Innovation and Competition||Seed Replacement or Sustainable Innovations?|
|11:00-11:15||Dr. Natalie Kopytko, University of Leeds||Quality vs. Quantity: Diversity in Sustainable Seed Innovation|
|11.20-11.30||Dr. Suman Sahai, Gene Campaign||Gene Campaign – Importance of indigenous seeds in Sustainable Agriculture|
|11:35-11:45||Dr. Prabhakar Rao, Trustee, Art of Living Agriculture Trust||Farmer Participation in Crop Breeding Programs in India – A Roadmap|
|11.45 -12.00||Q & A|
|12:05-12:15||Mr. Sanjay Patil, BAIF Development Research Foundation||Community Led Seed Conservation, Community Seed Banks and Farmers Rights – BAIF Experiences in Maharashtra|
|12:20-12:30||Ms. Sunita K Sreedharan, Attorney||The Current Challenges with Benefit Sharing in the Biodiversity Act and PPVFRA|
|12.35 – 12.45||Dr. K.K.Sharma, Assam Agricultural University||Rice Conservation and Stakeholder Awareness of PPVFRA|
|12.50 -13.00||Mr. Pitambar Shrestha, Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development LI-BRD||Participatory Approaches to Promoting Farmers’ Seed System and Conservation and Utilization of Agricultural Biodiversity in Nepal|
|13.05 – 13.15||Q & A|
|13.15 – 14.15||Lunch|
|14:15-16.15||Round-table Moderators||4 round-tables: IP/Participatory plant breeding/Outreach and awareness/Research|
|Sunita Sreedharan, Dr. Suman Sahai||Policy, Legal frameworks & Intellectual Property|
|Pitambar Shrestha, Dr. Prabhakar Rao, Dr. K.K. Sharma||Participatory plant breeding|
|Shamika Mone, Nagaraj Ganguli||Outreach and awareness of indigenous seeds|
|Dr. Mrinalini Kochupillai, Sanjay Patil, Dr. Uday Kumar||Importance of research on sustainable seed innovation|
|16.15-17.00||Moderators present takeaways of each round table discussions|
|17.05-17.30||Sanjay Khatal, Director Commercial National Seeds Corporation of India & Dr. Prabhakar Rao||Roadmap for National policy on upscaling of indigenous seeds|
|17.35- 17.45||Closing Remarks & Vote of Thanks|