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TNAU Agritech Portal :: Indigenous Farming                                                                                      
Protection of plant varieties and farmers’ rights authority ministry of Agriculture, Government of India


In order to provide for the establishment of an effective system for the protection of plant varieties, the rights of farmers and plant breeders and to encourage the development of new varieties of plants it has been considered necessary to recognize and to protect the rights of the farmers in respect their contributions made at any time in conserving, improving and making available plant genetic resources of traditional varieties and  for the development of new plant varieties. Hence the Government of India enacted “The Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights (PPV &FR) Act, in 2001”.

Objectives of the PPV & FR Act, 2001

  1. To establish an effective system for the protection of traditional plant varieties, the rights of farmers and plant breeders and to encourage the development of new varieties of plants.

  2. To recognize and protect the rights of farmers in respect of their contributions made at any time in conserving, improving and making available plant genetic resources for the development of new traditional plant varieties.

  3. To accelerate agricultural development in the country, protect plant breeders’ rights; stimulate investment for research and development both in public & private sector for the development new of plant varieties.

  4. Facilitate the growth of seed industry in the country which will ensure the availability of high quality seeds and planting material to the farmers.

General functions of the Authority

  • Registration of new plant varieties, essentially derived varieties (EDV), extant varieties and traditional varieties;

  • Developing DUS (Distinctiveness, Uniformity and Stability) test guidelines for new plant species;

  • Developing characterization and documentation of varieties registered

  • Compulsory cataloging facilities for all variety of plants

  • Documentation, indexing and cataloguing of farmers’varieties;

  • Recognizing and rewarding farmers, community of farmers, particularly tribal and rural community engaged in conservation, improvement, preservation of plant genetic resources of economic plants and their wild relatives

  • Maintenance of the National Register of plant Varieties and

  • Maintenance of National Gene Bank


Rights under the Act

Breeders’ Rights

Breeders will have exclusive rights to produce, sell, market, distribute, import or export the protected variety. Breeder can appoint agent/ licensee and may exercise for civil remedy in case of infringement of rights.

Researchers’ Rights

Researcher can use any of the registered variety under the Act for conducting experiment or research. This includes the use of a variety as an initial source of variety for the purpose of developing another variety but repeated use needs prior permission of the registered breeder.

Farmers’ Rights

A Farmer who has evolved or developed a new variety is entitled for registration and protection in like manner as a breeder of a variety;

  • Farmers variety can also be registered as an extant variety;
  • A farmer can save, use, sow, re-sow, exchange, share or sell his farm produce including seed of a variety protected under the PPV & FR Act, 2001 in the same manner as he was entitled before the coming into force of this Act provided farmer shall not be entitled to sell branded seed of a variety protected under the PPV&FR Act, 2001;
  • Farmers cultivating traditional varieties are eligible for recognition and rewards for the conservation of Plant Genetic Resources of land races and wild relatives of economic plants;
  • There is also a provision for compensation to the farmers for non-performance of variety under Section 39 (2) of the Act and
  • Farmer shall not be liable to pay any fee in any proceeding before the Authority or Registrar or the Tribunal or the High Court under the Act.


A variety is eligible for registration under the Act if it essentially fulfills the criteria of Distinctiveness, Uniformity and Stability (DUS). The Central Government issues notification in official Gazettes specifying the genera and species for the purpose of registration of varieties.

Publications of Authority

  • Plant variety journal of India
  • General and crop specific DUS test guidelines

So far, the Central Government has notified 57 crop species for the purpose of registration. The PPV & FR Authority has developed “Guidelines for the Conduct of Species Specific Distinctiveness, Uniformity and Stability,” tests or “Specific Guidelines’, for individual crop species. These include bread wheat, rice, maize, sorghum, pearl millet, chickpea, pigeon pea, green gram, black gram, field pea/garden pea, kidney bean/French bean, lentil, diploid cotton (two species), tetraploid cotton (two species), jute (two species), sugarcane, ginger, turmeric, Indian mustard, karan rai, rapeseed, gobhi sarson, sunflower, safflower, castor, sesame, linseed, groundnut, soybean, black pepper, small cardamom, rose, chrysanthemum, mango, potato, eggplant, tomato, lady’s finger, cauliflower, cabbage, onion and garlic,

  • Technical Bulletin
  • Gene Bank Manual
  • Agro-biodiversity (Hotspots Book (Two Volumes)
  • A video CD entitled ‘Seed of Sustenance’ highlighting various provisions of the PPV & FR Act, 2001
  • Annual Reports


Fees for registration

Application for registration of plant varieties should be accompanied with the fee of registration prescribed by the authority. Fee for registration for different types of variety is as under:

S.No. Type of variety Fees of Registration

Extant variety notified under section 5 of the seeds Act, 1996



New variety /Essentially Derived Variety (EDV)

Individual Rs.5000/-
Educational Rs.7000/-
Commercial Rs.10000/-


Extant variety about which there is common knowledge (VCK)

Individual Rs.5000/-
Educational Rs.7000/-
Commercial Rs.10000/-

DUS Test Centers

Authority has 52 DUS test Centers for different crops with a mandate for maintaining and multiplication of reference collection, example varieties and generation of database for DUS descriptors as per DUS guidelines of respective crops. The list of DUS test Centers is available on the official website of the Authority.

Plant Variety Journal of India

Authority publishes its official journal “Plant Varieties Journal of India” (PVJI) as a monthly bilingual (Hindi & English) publication and made available to public on the first working day of each month on its official website.

Certificate of Registration

Applications which have fulfilled all requirements and have been finally accepted by the Registrar for registration were issued Certificates of Registration. Currently, 305 Certificates have been issued. This certificate is valid for 9 years especially for trees and creepers and is valid for 6 years for other crops. Further, if the certificates needs to be renewed or revaluated it can be extended for 18 years for creepers and 15 years for other crops.

National Register of Plant Varieties

National Register of Plant Varieties has been kept at the head office of the Registry, containing the names of all the registered plant varieties with the names and addresses of their respective breeders, the rights of such breeders in respect of the registered varieties, the particulars of the denomination of each registered variety, its seed or other propagating material along with specification of salient features thereof and such other matters as may be prescribed.

Benefit sharing

The benefit sharing is one of the most important ingredients of the farmers’ rights. Section 26 provides benefits sharing and the claims can be submitted by the citizen of India or firms or non-governmental organization (NGOs) formed or established in India.

Rights of Community

  • It is compensation to village or local communities for their significant contribution in the evolution of variety which has been registered under the Act.
  • Any person/group of persons/governmental or non-governmental organization, on behalf of any village/local community in India, can file in any notified centre, claim for contribution in the evolution of any variety.

Click to view Photo Bank

Professor and Head,
Krishi Vigyan Kendra,
Phone No: 04286-266244
e-mail: kvk-namakkal@tanuvas.org.in
Website: www.namakkalkvk.com

Updated on March, 2015


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