CORAF, Partners to Build Agricultural Actors’ Capacity in Plant Variety Protection Systems

Thanks to a workshop organized by CORAF alongside other technical partners, some 25 players from West African English speaking countries of the seeds and seedlings area will be equipped with the practical skills to effectively implement the Plant Variety Protection (PVP) systems. 

Gathered in Accra from April 6 to 8, 2022, the participants who come mostly from the Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, will get a chance to learn the legal and institutional aspects, the exploitation of plant breeders’ rights, the practical contractual arrangement for using (commercializing) the protected variety by public or private breeding companies and the licensing arrangement principles, when it comes to PVP systems.

“Currently in West Africa, few countries are developing and implementing a legal framework for the protection of plant varieties within an intellectual property rights system,” declares Dr. Hippolyte Affongon, Coordinator of the Partnership Agricultural Research, Education and Development in West Africa (PAIRED) program, implemented by CORAF.

This workshop aims to reverse the trend, especially in the targeted countries, by equipping the sector’s key players, with the necessary skills to set up and implement an effective PVP system. 

An effective PVP system is key to the seeds sector. It can be an important tool to encourage the creation and release of new varieties of plants, ensuring and improving access to innovation, technology transfer, food security and genetic diversity”

Dr. Hippolyte Affongon, Coordinator of the PAIRED program.

At the end of the workshop, it is expected that:

  • The pathway for a successful PVP system is well understood by the participants;
  • A knowledge base is created to facilitate the introduction and practical implementation of PVP and Plant Breeder Rights in target countries;
  • Country action plans for PVP systems’ implementation are drafted.

“With this training, it is expected that the seeds breeding activity will be further developed, especially in the targeted countries, so that farmers can have at their disposal a wider range of technologies and innovations that meet their current and future challenges,” says Dr. Yacouba Diallo, Agricultural Inputs Expert at CORAF. 

“Knowing that the seed sector is agriculture’s backbone, this will certainly contribute to increasing the yield and income of the farmers.” 

The organization of the workshop falls under the PAIRED program, precisely its component 3 which aims at increasing the use of quality agri-inputs in West Africa. 

The workshop is jointly organized by CORAF and the Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants / the African Intellectual Property Organization (UPOV/OAPI), the National Interprofessional Group of Seeds and Seedlings (GNIS) and The Access to Seed Foundation.
It follows a previous of its type, with was held last year and which targeted a cohort of Francophone participants.