Objective 1 of the BDP Working Group International Marktes for the Russian Federation

Introduction of a system for the collection of royalties for certified and farm saved seeds in Russia

Background

In order to achieve superior results in plant breeding and variety development high investments in research and development are necessary. Satisfactory returns on the invested capital must be provided to give incentives for further investments.

Adequate legislation on variety protection and its implementation in practice will lead to the introduction of improved varieties safeguarding a continued increase in yields and quality of plant production as well as satisfactory agronomic performance (disease resistance, drought resistance etc.) of the crops.

The following table demonstrates the development of wheat yields in countries with strong variety protection including systems for the collection of royalties for farm saved seed (United Kingdom, Germany, France) compared to countries without such preconditions (Uruguay, United States, Argentina, Australia).

The following table demonstrates the development of wheat yields in countries with strong variety protection including systems for the collection of royalties for farm saved seed (United Kingdom, Germany, France) compared to countries without such preconditions (Uruguay, United States, Argentina, Australia).

Source: International Seed Federation (ISF), Collection Systems for Royalties in Wheat: An international study

Present situation in the Russian Federation

Russia has a modern law on plant variety protection and has ratified the UPOV Convention of 1991. The collection of royalties for certified seeds in the framework of private contracts is possible. As there is not a long history of royalty collection for protected plant varieties there is limited awareness of the necessity for such systems and some courts of justice have little experience regarding the prosecution of infringements.

The Russian law on plant variety protection allows the use of farm saved seed of protected varieties by farmers on their own holdings for two years without any remuneration for the variety owner. Since there are high shares of farm saved seeds for cereals and potato in the Russian Federation the return on investments in new varieties are dissatisfactory. As a consequence not enough money is invested in improved varieties for Russian growing conditions and not enough modern varieties are introduced into the market.

Positions to be communicated

Strong variety protection is the bases for strong seed industries, new high performing varieties and competitive plant production. Awareness for the necessity of royalty collection for the use of protected varieties must be raised. Courts of justice must be made familiar with legislation on plant variety protection.

The possibility to use two generations of farm saved seeds of protected varieties according to Russian legislation on plant variety protection seriously restricts the introduction of innovated varieties of self pollinating and vegetatively propagated species (cereals, potato).

BDP proposes to change the legal provisions for farm saved seeds in Russian legislation on plant variety protection and to introduce the possibility to collect royalties for farm saved seeds.

Possible lobbying partners

The National Union of Breeders' and Seed
The Russian Potato Union
The Russian Grain Union
The Russian Sugar Union
The Farmers Union (ACCOR)

Next steps

Start discussion with relevant associations and ask for support of BDP position.

10. June 2013

Dieter Rücker