How the Private and the Public Sectors Use IP to Enhance Agricultural Productivity

One of the reasons for hunger and malnutrition in many developing countries is insufficient agricultural productivity which does not keep pace with increasing demand for food due, essentially, to population growth. There is a lack of incentives to develop or to introduce appropriate agricultural technology, including better adapted varieties of plants. Experience shows that the public sector alone, for various reasons, is unable to respond to the needs of farmers for suitable agricultural technology. There is ample evidence that a suitable legal and administrative framework of intellectual property protection may provide a key incentive for creativity, investment and knowledge transfer in many different circumstances and in agriculture in particular, for both, the public and the private sectors.

WIPO as the leading institution for intellectual property protection has a major responsibility to raise awareness on how IP can stimulate innovation, investment and knowledge transfer for food security and to assist in creating a suitable legal and administrative framework in developing countries with that objective.

A series of public events is proposed with a view to demonstrate IP driven success stories of agricultural development with a particular focus on food security. A coordinated action is intended with selected partners from the plant related innovation industry, the public agricultural research sector, farmers associations of selected developing countries, relevant intergovernmental (FAO, UPOV), non governmental organizations and potential donors.

A first Seminar will be held on June 14, 2011, at the WIPO Headquarters in Geneva.