To help plant breeders register new crop varieties

The government is preparing to establish a regional office of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA) in Thiruvananthapuram, Minister for Agriculture K.P. Mohanan has said.

Delivering the inaugural address at a State- level awareness programme on the PPVFR Act here on Tuesday, he said the regional office was expected to be inaugurated before the end of the year.

Registrar General of the authority R.C. Agrawal who presided over the inaugural function said the new office would cater to the southern States. “It will make it easier for farmers and plant breeders to register new varieties and contact the authority when infringement of rights takes place,” he said.

Water conservation

Highlighting the looming threat posed by climate change to the agriculture sector, the Minister said extended drought conditions had made water conservation methods imperative. “Realising the importance, the government has formulated the Sahasra Sarovar scheme to restore 1,000 ponds and tanks across the State.”

Mr. Mohanan said technology-assisted farming had emerged as one of the solutions to the challenges faced by farmers. Stressing the need for an integrated approach to agriculture, he said rearing of cows was a key factor in the State’s drive to switch over to organic farming by 2015.

The Minister presented mementos to the Pokkali Rice Farming Community, Ernakulam; Kerala Agricultural University; the Wayanad Tribal Development Action Council; and M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, winners of the Plant Genome Saviour Community award 2010-11.

Ravi Prakash, Registrar, PPVFRA; S.K. Chakrabarti, Director, Central Tuber Crops Research Institute; Sverup John, Dean, Kerala Agricultural University; and S.Regeena, Special Officer, Agriculture (WTO Cell), spoke.

Keywords: farmers issue

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