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Creating space for ‘informal’ seed systems in a plant variety protection system that is based on UPOV 1991

Working Paper Series 2017 – 7

The challenge for African countries is to strike a balance between protecting the interests of breeders, to maintain the incentive function of plant breeders’ rights in the commercial market, while providing sufficient leeway to smallholder farmers that depend on informal sources for their seed security and survival. An equally pressing challenge is to establish a PVP (plant variety protection) system that is acceptable to the key stakeholders (notably farmers and breeders), as this is very likely a prerequisite for successful implementation. ISSD Africa aims to actively contribute to this endeavour by answering the action learning question: How can room be created for ‘informal’ seed systems in a UPOV 1991 informed plant variety protection system?

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