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How SMEs Can Benefit from Plant Variety Protection

Plant breeding results in new, improved plant varieties that are an important and sustainable means of achieving food security in the context of population growth and climate change.

New varieties that are adapted to the environment in which they are grown increase the choice of healthy, tasty and nutritious food while generating a viable income for farmers. New varieties also support the development of urban agriculture and the growing of ornamental plants, shrubs and trees that contribute to improving the lives of people in the expanding urban environment.

Successful plant breeding requires great skill and knowledge in a process that can take up to 15 years to introduce a new plant variety to the market. Not all new plant varieties are successful, even though the best prospects are selected from thousands of individuals during the breeding process. Sustained and long-term breeding efforts are only worthwhile if there is a chance to be rewarded for the investment made, which is why plant variety protection (PVP) is an important system for plant breeders.

Video – Japan: Ashiro Rindo, The story of a group of smallholder rice farmers that used PVP to develop an international flower business

Five ways the UPOV system is suited to SMEs

The UPOV system was specifically created to address the particular needs of plant breeders and is well suited to SMEs.

1. Entering the breeding sector

2. A simple and harmonised application system

3. Cost efficient system of variety examination

4. Licensing opportunities

5. Partnerships

More on UPOV

The effectiveness of the UPOV system of plant variety protection has generated great diversity in plant breeding, both in terms of species in which plant breeders have sought to protect new plant varieties (more than 4,000) and in terms of plant breeders. The overwhelming majority of plant breeders using PVP are SMEs covering individuals, farmers, researchers, public institutes and private companies.

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The UPOV PRISMA online application tool helps SMEs make their applications to PVP Offices of participating UPOV member countries.

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