CSOs' concerns against Plant Breeders Bill have been addressed long ago

Raymond Ablorh.pic.jpeg Raymond Ablorh

Fri, 28 Aug 2020 Source: Raymond Ablorh

Recent reports of some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) asking Parliament not to pass the Plant Breeders, now Plant Varieties Bill smack of mischief than well-intentioned effort to secure our collective interest because all the issues they raised have been already addressed.

The Report of The committee On Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs On The Petitions On "Plant Breeders' Bill, 2013" captures all the concerns raised by Food Sovereignty and others and how they were addressed adequately.

The Report dated October, 2014 says, "None of the referrals to the Committee was for the total rejection of the Bill. All they sought to do was to propose amendments for the consideration of the Committee."

"The Committee after critical analysis of the petition and memoranda, is convinced that no case has been made for a reconsideration of its earlier position and therefore recommends to the House to continue with the consideration of the Bill and pass it," the Committee recommended.

Since then, no new concern has been raised. However, same issues are only re-heated and fed the media anytime Parliament is about to pass the Bill meant to protect the rights of plant breeders with the ultimate purpose of improving yields.

While we go back and forth, improved varieties developed with the tax payers' money over the years are being used in over 18 countries in Africa and South America without royalties accruing to the institutions and breeders who developed them.

Introduction of variety protection and new plant varieties in Burkina Faso has improved their yield quality so much that Ghanaian market women now go there to buy vegetables; tomatoes, etc.

Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe and others African countries that Ghana started the journey to promulgate Plant Varieties Law before they commenced have bypassed the leading African democracy to do theirs while some interests continue to mischievously frustrate Parliament's effort to pass this important Bill.

What is preventing Parliament from passing this Bill?

Are the Belgians and small European countries who are fighting for their interests and their Ghanaian collaborators in Ghana's Parliament?

Columnist: Raymond Ablorh