The protection of cultivars and the success of Brazilian agribusiness
In the last 20 years, grain production in Brazil has more than quadrupled, reaching the mark of 265 million tons, while in the same period the planted area increased only from 37.9 million to 67 million hectares. Such disproportion between the great increase in productivity on the one hand — which confirms Brazil as one of the world leaders in agribusiness — and the low expansion of space for planting on the other, is mainly due to the development and protection of cultivars, pointed out, last Thursday, 14, Ricardo Zanatta Machado, coordinator of the SNPC (National Service for the Protection of Cultivars), and Raphael Rossi Silva, of Topical Melhoramento e Genética (TMG), speakers of the webinar “Protection of Cultivars in Brazil”. The event was mediated by t Maria Isabel Coelho de Castro Bingemer, the co-coordinator of ABPI’s Cultivars Study Committee, and held within the scope of IP Meetings, a series of virtual meetings promoted by ABPI and WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organization, with the support of the SNPC in this edition. The opening table was attended by ABPI’s president Luiz Edgard Montaury Pimenta, Zanatta Machado, and WIPO advisor Isabella Pimentel.
Zanatta Machado explained that the protection of cultivars is part of a virtuous chain, which brings benefits to everyone involved in the genetic improvement of a plant. The farmer now has other alternatives for cultivation species, which are more productive and resistant to diseases, while the breeder and the seed producer get the return on investment for business expansion. qThe government also wins, which guarantees more competitiveness to the product within international agribusiness. According to the SNPC technician the consumer gains access to cheaper, more sustainable, and nutritious food. “Without protection, companies would not be encouraged to make genetic improvements”, says Zanatta Machado. In Brazil, cultivars are protected by Law No. 9,456, of April 25th, 1997, known as the Cultivar Protection Law.
From the beginning of research for genetic improvement, until the cultivar is placed on the market, it takes an average of seven years of investments, explained Rossi Silva, from TMG, a genetic improvement technology company for soy and cotton. He added that genetic improvement explains the expansion of Brazilian soy production, which has practically doubled in the last 20 years. “In the Midwest, we went from 10 million tons of soy to more than 60 million tons”. The TMG representative considers it inappropriate to deem Brazil as a mere exporter of basic products. “In soy, what we have is immense added value with a lot of technology development, and we should be very proud of that”, he said.
You can watch the full webinar on ABPI’s YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATgTtFiLAiA