"What to expect now that Ghana’s Plant Variety Protection law has been passed"

The passage of the Plant Variety Protection (PVP) Bill into law, by the 7th Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana on November 4, 2020, followed by the President’s assent to the bill on December 29, 2020, by far, constitutes a landmark achievement in the country’s bid to harness the intellectual abilities of its citizenry.

The Plant Variety Protection Act, 2020 becomes the one thousand and fiftieth Act of the Parliament. The Intellectual property protection for outputs of plant breeding in Ghana is designed to be an incentive to promote the development of new varieties to contribute to sustainable progress in agriculture as well as horticulture, plant medicine, floriculture and forestry.

Initial attempts leading to this achievement, dated as far back as 2003. The journey to its passage in 2020 saw many key actors making variously vital contributions worth mentioning. However, in recent times, the contributions of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his foresight and unflinching guidance and leadership; the Vice-President, the Honourable Attorney-General and Minister for Justice for their enviable passion displayed towards the passage of the bill are worth acknowledging.

The introduction of the PVP system has the potential to increase the overall numbers of improved varieties developed for not only staple crops such as maize, millet, sorghum, rice, cassava, yams, groundnut, cowpeas, soybean, sweetpotato, vegetables and fruits but also ornamental plants and flowers, forest trees and traditional or medicinal plants. The protection extends to all genera and species of plants in the country. This will help Ghana receive the full benefits of the protection of the wider net of its plants. The International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) Convention recognizes and thus has put in place an effective and efficient system that encourages the activity of breeding across all plant genera and species. Protection that may be sought for varieties of hundreds to thousands of plant genera or species will help to protect Ghana’s biodiversity. 

Read the complete article at www.myjoyonline.com.

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