The regulation of innovation in agriculture and sustainable development in India and Southeast Asia

Authored by: Rajeswari Kanniah , Christoph Antons

Routledge Handbook of Asian Law

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415659406
eBook ISBN: 9781315660547
Adobe ISBN: 9781317337409


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Legislative developments in agriculture follow innovations and technological advances. The Green Revolution, for example, introduced high-yielding hybrid technology, heralding an era of intensive monoculture farming, mechanisation, and increased use of pesticides and oil-based fertilisers. Seed quality and certification laws followed this advancement. When technology developed even further to enable genetic modification of plants, concerns over safety aspects led to the enactment of biosafety laws. In addition, the gene revolution brought about a massive shift in the paradigm of ownership over plant genetic resources. In step with these technological innovations, new forms of intellectual property rights (IPR) over plants were established, and thus was born the new concept of ‘plant breeders’ rights’ (PBR), or ‘plant variety rights’ (PVR), in addition to amendments in patent laws being made to allow for property rights over plants, microorganisms and biotechnological processes. Yet another new law on geographical indications was introduced to guarantee consumers authenticity of the geographical origin and territorial attributes of agricultural products, and to protect the original producers from misappropriation and unfair competition from imitators and counterfeiters.

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