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Food Crisis, Development and Intellectual Property


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CAS-IP's Francesca Re Manning gave a presentation at the Cambridge University International Development Society. The talk gave an overview on the importance and the use of intellectual property in the development of the economy of many countries, in particular securing food and animal feed. Francesca therefore also discussed the role of the CGIAR and of CAS-IP. The presentation was very well received and raised interest especially as many had not associated food to intellectual property rights before.

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Food Crisis, Development and Intellectual Property

  1. 1. Food Crisis, Development and Intellectual Property D.ssa Francesca Re Manning CAS-IP A presentation to the Cambridge International Development Society 5 December 2009
  2. 2. Food Crisis World Bank “food prices rose 83% over last 3 years” FAO “45% increase in food price index in last 9 months
  3. 3. Food Crisis But the crisis was not sudden. Prices have been rising for some time now, so perhaps earlier warning signs were missed or ignored?
  4. 4. Food prices or overpopulation? IFDP “food produced steadily at over 20% a year while rate of population growth dropped at 1.14% a year
  5. 5. Some causes “Unnecessary” or excessively produced products – tobacco, cocoa, tea, sugar... Droughts in wheat producing areas Biofuels diversion of crops – 10%
  6. 6. Deeper and long-term causes No voice in food security policy of developing countries WTO removal of trade barriers GMOs and proprietary of technology
  7. 7. Agriculture and Development 75% poor people depend on agriculture to survive In agriculture-based countries, it generates on average 29% of the GDP and employs 65% of the labour force Investigation in Agriculture is essential
  8. 8. The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research CGIAR Created in 1971 Alliance of countries, international and regional organizations, and private foundations • supporting 15 international agricultural research Centres • that work with national agricultural research systems, civil society organizations, and the private sector.
  9. 9. The CGIAR
  10. 10. CGIAR 5 focuses Sustainable production Enhancement of National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) Germplasm Improvement Germplasm Collection Policy
  11. 11. Some achievements of the CGIAR Comite’s de Investigacion Agricola Local New Rices for Africa (NERICA) Quality Protein Maize Potatoes Virus detection kit Improved, drought resistant maize Improved aquaculture techniques and new varieties of tilapia fish
  12. 12. Borlaug’s reaction to critics to Green Revolution "some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. They've never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they'd be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things".
  13. 13. Primal aim of the CGIAR Knowledge AS International Public Goods • Available, Accessible, Applicable • Non-rivalrous • Non- excludable • Transboundaries
  14. 14. Knowledge as International Public Good CGIAR Centres must managed the knowledge produced properly to ensure • access • sharing • impact
  15. 15. Central Advisory Service Assist the Centres to manage their knowledge to ensure access and use of their intellectual assets as public goods for the benefit of the poor
  16. 16. Intellectual Assets as Property Intellectual Property “all those things that emanate from the exercise of the human mind”
  17. 17. The law.... The law does not protect the right to own intellectual property unless the author has taken steps to claim ownership over the results of his/her creative product
  18. 18. Intellectual Property Rights IPRs are the rights granted to inventors, artists, plant breeders, in recognition of their work There is usually a need to meet certain standards of creativity before it is granted The rights granted are limited – by time, and by country Often exploited by licensing When others wish to use IPRs they must get consent, and perhaps pay a royalty
  19. 19. Main IPRs in Agriculture Patents Plant Variety Rights Copyright Geographical Indications
  20. 20. Patents Exclusive right to make, use and sell Monopoly granted by the State to the inventor to disclose the invention and recoup investment A grant of a patent requires an invention to pass tests of novelty, inventive step (unobviousness), and industrial applicability Rights are national, i.e. by country
  21. 21. Just for a laugh!....
  22. 22. The Dummy Chicken Farmer...
  23. 23. Patents and Public Goods Enola bean case • patent over new variety of yellow bean • restrictions on imports (sale) • limitation on farmers’ right to re-use, exchange or sell patented seed + breeders’ right of to use that seed for further research and breeding purposes Turmeric & Basmati cases • Used for years in India – millions of money to defend
  24. 24. International Solution Countries’ recognition of genetic material subject to patent protection and no return Convention on Biological Diversity (“CBD”) • Conservation • Sustainable use • Fair & Equitable sharing of profits
  25. 25. Free exchange of genetic material CBD requires bilateral agreements • Time and money consuming International Treaty on Plant Genetic for Food and Agriculture (“IT”) • Multilateral system for exchange of list of crops • Farmers’ rights: traditional knowledge & decision- making • Restrictions on IPRs over original material • Compulsory benefit sharing if commercialised
  26. 26. Copyright Right over expression of idea involving some creative element – literary, musical, theatrical... Automatic right once fixated – but US system • so not on ideas Exclusive right to control copying or issuing copies, adapt, translate, modify
  27. 27. Copyright and Public Goods Open Access • Make results of research as widely and accessible as possible • Free from technological and economic restraints Wheat scientist in Kazakhstan NGO Extension in Ethiopia • Negotiations with Publishers
  28. 28. Copyright and Public Goods Creative Commons • some rights reserved • clear understanding of permitted uses Open Access Journals
  29. 29. Geographical Indications Name or sign used on a product corresponding to the country or place of origin • Protected Denomination of Origin (“PDO”) and Protected Geographical Indication (“PGI”) – Natural and Human factor – Quality, reputation, or other characteristic Protection against incorrect and misleading, damaging or exploiting reputation • Darjeeling (and Darjeeling Nouveau) • Budweiser (Budejovice or Budweis)
  30. 30. Geographical Indications and Development Collective group of producers Protection and development • Economy • Traditional knowledge • Rural community • Agro-Biodiversity Ethiopian Coffee: Harar, Sidamo, and Yirgacheffe
  31. 31. Thank you!