The Chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions, Mr Munir Agundi, has hailed the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for assenting to the Plant Variety Protection Bill 2021.
Agundi said the Plant Variety Protection Act 2021 will create a window for the protection of plant varieties in Nigeria.
The lawmaker, in a statement issued on Tuesday, titled ‘Buhari Signs Plant Variety Protection Act into Law’, said the bill was signed into law on Friday.
Agundi, who sponsored the bill, said the law would also provide recognition and proper remuneration for breeders who develop plant varieties.
He added that the law would also introduce the long-awaited game-changing tool for agricultural research to create meaningful impact in the nation’s agricultural industry.
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.”
He added that Buhari had so far assented to the National Fertilizer and Quality (Control) Act, 2019; National Agricultural Seeds Council Act, 2019: and the Plant Varity Protection Act, 2021, as part of the regime’s commitment to ensuring that the sector is reformed.
He said, “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, has 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 investing their intellectual prowess in plant breeding as there is now a sure guarantee that their rights will be recognised 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.”