In this post, I argue that the 1991 UPOV Convention, which is the only UPOV Convention open for accession, is unsuited to Nigeria, principally because it provides a closed plant breeders rights system that favours (commercial) plant breeders, to the detriment of small scale farmers. Nigeria has over 70 per cent small scale farmers that stand to be side-lined by a UPOV-styled system. Accordingly, I urge the Nigerian Government to cease, or at the least delay, the ongoing legislative process.
African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation
The International Women’s Day is an opportune time to recognise and celebrate female scholars. This post spotlights five female scholars of African descent, Professor Ruth Okediji, Professor Olufunmilayo Arewa, Professor Caroline Ncube, Dr Amaka Vanni and Dr Chijioke Okorie, for their outstanding contributions to the multifaceted and often esoteric intellectual property rights (IPRs) debates
Unlike its West African neighbour, Ghana, where there is a flurry of debates around plant variety protection (PVP), there is silence on the subject in Nigeria. This silence is note-worthy because Nigeria has pending obligations under Article 27.3(b) of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) to introduce a PVP system. However, the silence should not be equated with absolute legislative inactivity around the subject in the country. Indeed, from 2006, there have been unsuccessful attempts to introduce a PVP system through intellectual property (IP) law reforms.
Overtly, debates on the Bill have morphed into a contest between food sovereignty and food security. This comment will highlight the core issues, mostly from the perspective of advocates of food sovereignty, and underscore that food sovereignty and food security are two sides of the same coin. If properly exploited, both can complement government efforts in bridging the hunger and poverty gap in the country.
Since TRIPS is extremely flexible on the PBRs regime to be adopted, they should obtain guidance from other balanced international instruments such as ITPGRFA. Further, they can obtain vital lessons from states such as India.