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Seed Bankers for Conserving Native Crops

  • 27 Jul 2019
  • 4 min read

A total of 1597 farmers varieties have been registered with Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Authority and certificates of registration have been issued.

India’s Seed Bank

  • India has established its own seed storage facility at Chang La in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir.
  • It has been built jointly by the Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) and the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) in 2010 under the aegis of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
  • It stores over 5,000 seed accessions (one accession consists of a set of seeds of a particular species collected from different geographical and demographic locations).
  • Note: Svalbard Global Seed Vault is the world’s largest seed storage facility situated at Norway.

ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR)

  • It is a nodal organisation for management of plant genetic resources in India and functions under the control of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
  • It is conserving seed germplasm for long-term conservation (at -20°C) in its National Genebank (NGB)
  • It plans, organizes, conducts and coordinates exploration and collection of indigenous and exotic plant genetic resources.

Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Authority


  • 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.
  • Recognition and protection of the rights of farmers in respect to their contribution in conserving, improving and making available plant genetic resources for the development of new plant varieties.
  • Accelerate agricultural development in the country by stimulation of investment for research and development both in public and private sector.
  • Facilitate growth of seed industry to ensure the availability of quality seeds and planting material to the farmers.

Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Act, 2001 (PPV&FR Act)

  • It has been enacted to fulfill India’s obligation under the agreement on Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) of the World Trade Organization as also to stimulate investment in Research and Development for the development of new plant varieties which will facilitate the growth of the seed industry and ensure the availability of high quality seeds to the farmers.
  • The Protection of Plant Varieties & Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001 provides for the establishment of an effective system for the protection of plant breeders’ rights.
  • According to section 39 of the Act, farmers are allowed to save, use, sow, re-sow, exchange, share and even sell farm produce including seed of a protected variety. But when it is sold, it cannot be packaged and branded as such.

Source: PIB

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