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INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS AND
AGRICULTURAL TECHNOLOGY: ROLE OF PROBABLE
STAKE HOLDERS AND THEIR IMPACT ON INDIAN AGRICULTURE

Dr. A.A.Dange*
Shubhangi Khuperkar **

ABSTRACT

        Improvements in crop productivity are crucial to sustain food security in a vast country like India. Increase in crop productivity in future will necessary be technology driven. This necessitates appropriate investments in Agricultural Research and Development. Apart from investments in agro-research, Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) have profound impact on technology development and its transfer. Technology Development, Technology Transfer, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), investment in Research & Development, trade flows, etc. are influenced by IPRs. The TRIPS agreement under the Urgency Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations is most comprehensive multilateral agreement on Intellectual Property. This agreement seeks to include non-discrimination and equal application of minimum standards of protection by all members in relation to every category of IPRs. The areas of intellectual property that the TRIPS agreement covers are: Copyrights and related rights, Trade Marks including Service Marks, Geographical Indications including Appellations of origin, Industrial Designs, Patents including the protection of new varieties of plant, the layout – designs of integrated circuits and undisclosed knowledge including trade secrets and test data.

Presently in India the Plant Varieties Protection and Farmers Right’s Bill being referred to a select Parliamentary Committee, the advent of an IPR Regime the Agricultural Sector is inevitable. The IPR Regime will shape the future agricultural technology development scene in India. The interrelation between IPR regime and technology development will determine the contours of development in agricultural technology & development. Agricultural technology related to crop improvement, crop protection, crop knowledge, natural resource management, machinery based and technologies concerning live stock fisheries will attract huge investments in a country like India, which will have economic, social, and ecological impact of vast dimensions which needs analysis and study:

Nature of IPR regime will have great influence on the:

  • Magnitude of investment in Agricultural Research And Development.
  • Pace of technology development and transfer of technology and the most importantly,
  • Relative role of Public Sector, Domestic Private Sector, and Multinational Agro-Business Corporations.

Presently, the Public Sector-Network of Research institutes under ICAR and Agricultural Universities undertake the bulk of research in agriculture. However under the new IPR regime the role of Private Sector more so Multinational Agro-Business Corporations will increase. This will have far reaching impact on development of agro-technology related to technologies in fertilizers and pesticides, farm machinery and equipment, seeds and other inputs as well as in preservation and processing of food. Proper understanding and impartial analysis of the issues becomes important. Dissemination of the study amongst the people at large, farmers, etc. is hence necessary.

In the above context hence the following issues to IPR regime and Agricultural Technology need research and critical assessment.

  1.  Privatization of Agricultural Research.
  2. Transfer of Technology and role of Multinational Agro-Business Corporations.
  3. Indigenous Technology and Imported Technology.
  4. Policy Making related to the above issues and mechanism of Regulation.

 

 
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