The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has commended the Nigerian Senate on the passage of the Plant Variety Protection Bill (PVP) into law, noting that it is a move towards economic and export improvement.
According to NESG, the passage of the bill opens another opportunity for the country to generate revenue through seed export while also developing the country’s agricultural food chain.
In a signed statement made available to BusinessDay, Yinka Iyinolakan, head, corporate communications, NESG, stated that the group in collaboration with the Nigeria Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) has overtime canvassed for the law that will provide a plant variety protection system.
He added that this will incentivize national and multinational agribusiness investments and also aid the development of Nigeria’s Agriculture value chain.
“The passage and implementation of the Plant Variety Protection bill will give Plant breeders intellectual property over a new plant variety, with exclusive rights to commercialize seed.
Once the PVP Law is passed and implemented in Nigeria, the country will move from generating $0 from seeds export to generating well over $2.0 billion from seeds export within the first 5 years.” Iyinolakan explained
He also added that the PVP promotes the marketing of new varieties and allow breeders to earn back the considerable costs involved in the long process of variety development.
“Furthermore, a well-functioning Plant Variety Protection (PVP) system will encourage in-country breeding activities; this will also attract foreign companies to introduce high quality improved varieties, knowing that others cannot easily copy their effort or take advantage of it.” He said.
While commending the National Assembly for its role in ensuring the passage of the PVP Bill, the NESG urged the government to act speedily in ensuring that this legislation is signed into law and promptly implemented.
“We believe that the measures set out in the PVP Bill will create a more appropriate system that meets today’s realities, improve the business environment and general agricultural performance across the economy as a whole,” Iyinolakan said
The PVP Bill was read for the First time in the Senate on the 16th of February 2021 and was passed into law by the Senate after several months of deliberations.
Speaking at a Pre-NES26 webinar, Mustapha Shehuri, minister of state for Agriculture and rural development, said the Nigerian Seeds economy is worth over N4 billion annually if properly optimized as the country supplies over 40 percent of the seed requirement in West Africa, adding that on a global scale the demand for seed has the potential to generate foreign exchange earnings for Nigeria in future.