Pakistan has an intensive and up-to-date legislation to regulate its dynamic seed industry. However, legal protection for new plant varieties was lacking. To overcome this deficiency, the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act, 2016 was promulgated and notified on December 8, 2016. The Act was supported by the Plant Breeders’ Rules, which were notified on May 25, 2018.
For implementation of the Plant Breeders’ Rights law, a Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) Registry has been set up under the Ministry of National Food Security and Research. The Registry is main executive and technical body for grant of protection rights to the breeders in the Pakistan. It aims at encouraging the development of new crop varieties and protecting the breeders’ intellectual property rights. It is expected to promote entrepreneurship and attract local as well as foreign investment in research and development of improved varieties of various crop species.
The Registry started receiving applications for the protection since February 15, 2021. The protection is currently available for novel varieties of Cotton, Maize, Wheat, Canola, Sunflower, Potato, Barley, Groundnut, Chickpea and Banana. The scope of the Registry shall get extended for more crops in future.