Reps member hails Buhari over assent of Plant Variety Protection Act into law

A federal lawmaker, Hon Muir Dan Agundi, representing Kumbotso Federal Constituency, Kano State has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for assenting into law the Plant Variety Protection Act 2021 to create a window for the protection of plant varieties in Nigeria.

The lawmaker who sponsored the bill made the commendation on Tuesday while speaking with news in Abuja.

The lawmaker said the law would provide recognition and proper remuneration for the breeders who develop varieties.

He added that the law would also introduce the long-awaited game-changing tool for agricultural research to create a meaningful impact in the nation’s agricultural industry. 

While commending the President for his timeous intervention in the Agricultural Sector reforms and addressing concerns of Nigerians to diversify the economy through agriculture, the lawmaker said the signing of the law was part of government commitment in ensuring that the Agricultural sector is totally reformed.

Agundi said all efforts made by previous administrations to reform the Agricultural sector could not see the light of the day due to lack of political will, adding that President Buhari had so far assented to the National Fertilizer and Quality (Control) Act, 2019; National Agricultural Seeds Council Act, 2019: and the Plant Variety Protection Act, 2021 as part of government commitment in ensuring that the Agricultural sector is totally reformed.

According to him, “Nigeria presently has such low and declining levels of investment in Agricultural Research and Development that the effectiveness of the nation’s agricultural Research and Development in meeting our food security needs is questionable, particularly in the seed sector” 

He said there was a growing concern about the ability of African agriculture research and development systems to respond to current and emerging development challenges.

According to him,b “the ability of our agricultural systems to sustainably support innovations in the seed sector is not within acceptable bunds and to avert looming food security, there is an urgent need to open up the research and development in the seed sector for improved agricultural productivity in the country

“The president by signing this law which creates a window for the protection of plant varieties in Nigeria and provides recognition and proper remuneration for the breeders who develop these varieties have introduced a long-awaited game-changing tool for agricultural research to create meaningful impact in the nation’s agricultural industry

“With the Plant Variety Protection Act in place, plant breeders both in the public and private sectors will be more committed to invest their intellectual prowess in plant breeding as there is now a sure guarantee that their rights will be recognized and respected. 

“Plant breeders that have invested huge resources in developing plant varieties are now assured that their work cannot be duplicated for commercial purposes without their consent

“The Act will enable farmers in Nigeria gain access to wide varieties of improved plant varieties that will be tolerant to stress and diseases and produce better yield compared to what they have in the past.”

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