Kerala Agricultural University has been notified as a centre of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare. The objective of the notification is to protect rights of Kerala farming communities over the traditional plant varieties.

Any person, group of persons or any governmental or non-governmental organization can file the claim for compensation on behalf of those communities who have contributed significantly in the evolution of any registered plant variety. If any farmer or farmers cluster in Kerala have a claim on contribution in the evolution of any registered variety, they can approach Kerala Agricultural University.


Kerala Agricultural University will verify the claims relating to field crops, fruits, vegetables, trees, spices, flower crops and plantation crops in the State and report to PPV and FR Authority and no fee will be claimed from the farmer or farming communities for such claim. The move is expected to boost the efforts to protect the State’s traditional plant varieties and prevent bio-piracy.

P. Indira Devi, Director, Kerala State Farmer’s Welfare Board said the legal protection of property rights is a strong driver for innovations. Among the policy interventions to aid agricultural development, the enactment of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act 2001, which ensured the legal protection of intellectual property rights in the agricultural sector, including that of farmers. The protection ensured the commercial possibilities of innovations not only for the private sector but also for the public sector and the farmers, she said.

A sizeable proportion of Indian farmers are small and marginal ones who continue to grow traditional varieties and depend on agro biodiversity for household food security. The law ensures the farmer’s rights as a conserver of traditional varieties apart from that as a developer of new varieties, she added.