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.
International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants
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.