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OUAT tops in registration of plant types

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 30: Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology has registered the maximum number of plant varieties among all state agriculture universities in the country.

Twenty varieties have been registered in favour of Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT), which include 13 rice varieties, two black gram varieties, two green gram varieties, two mustard varieties and one sesamum variety.

Second in the list are Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth in Maharashtra and the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University with 11 registrations each. Choudhry Charan Singh Haryana Agriculture University comes in third.

“Registration of a plant variety gives the breeder exclusive rights to use and commercialise it. The breeder can exclusively use the seeds to multiply, sell or issue licenses to those interested to sell that particular variety of seed,” said the in charge of the university’s intellectual property rights (IPR) cell, Baburam Singh.

OUAT has also become the first university in the country to commercialise protected varieties.

“Following the university IPR, the net profit from the process of commercialisation is shared. Of this, 60 per cent is given to the plant breeders of the varsity, 25 per cent goes to the department concerned for further research and five per cent is used for staff welfare,” said Singh.

The varsity has so far commercialised five protected crop varieties, he said.

Sources said the state government had applied for registration of over 800 plant varieties, most of which are farmer varieties. However, not a single variety has been registered as yet.

“All the varieties applied for by the state government of Odisha are under different stages of field tests and it will take around three years for the registration process to be completed,” said R.C. Agrawal, registrar general of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Authority under the ministry of agriculture.