New ARIPO Plant Protocol: Conflict of Farmers’ and Breeders’ Rights?

by Hillary Muheebwa, IP Watch

Member states of African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) have adopted a protocol for the protection of new varieties of plants. The measure is aimed at modernising African agricultural practices, but some say it comes at the expense of age-old traditional farming practices, such as saving and re-using seed.

The protocol adopted during a diplomatic conference held in Arusha, Tanzania, on 6 July is called the Arusha Protocol for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants. [Note: The final text is not yet publicly available.]