Plant Variety Protection in Uganda: A Legal Analysis of Emerging Trends
at pp. 87-96 – WIPO-WTO Colloquium Papers, Research Papers from the WIPO-WTO Colloquium for Teachers of Intellectual Property Law, 2016, ISBN 978-92-870-4259-0
12 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2019 Last revised: 25 Feb 2019
Date Written: July 10, 2016
The article looks at the most recent Intellectual Property protection legislation in Uganda, that is, the Plant Variety Protection Act which was passed in 2014. It addresses the protective mechanisms stipulated in the legislation. It goes on to highlight the imbalance presented between the interests of Plant Breeders who are the ultimate beneficiaries of Plant Variety protection, against the rights of indigenous farmers, who are seemingly the unsuspecting losers. This is based on the apparent restrictions that this legislation places on access to Food Security that has hitherto not been a problem to such communities. In making this analysis, the article looks at the government justification for the establishment of legislation on Plant Variety Protection and gives a critique as to whether this justification is fulfilled through the provisions in the Act.
The overall argument presented is that Agro-Based communities, such as those in Uganda, would be hard-pressed to satisfy the interests of pro-protection communities, such as Plant Breeders. The latter are in the minority as opposed to local farming communities that are the major economic feeders by virtue of their farming activities. Juxtapositions are thus made with similar – though current and old -legislation in India and Tanzania respectively, with a view towards drawing out best practices. This then forms the basis for the argument that Plant Variety protection, though possible and warranted, needs to cater for continued easy accessibility of farming communities to food which is susceptible to fall under such protection.
Keywords: Benefit Sharing, Food, Plant Variety, Farmers’ Rights, Plant Breeders
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