Thailand Business News

Government says farmers won’t lose rights under CPTPP



BANGKOK(NNT)-The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) being studied by a special committee of the House of Representatives, has yet to result in an agreement between supporters and detractors as farmers are still concerned about their rights to plant species, prompting the Asia and Pacific Seed Association (APSA) to hold a seminar titled “Will Thai Farmers Lose Out Under CPTPP”.
The seminar brought together state and private representatives as well as academics and farmers, to discuss CPTPP. The Director of the Plant Species Protection Research Group of the Department of Agriculture, Thidakun Sanudom, pointed out that countries under the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) are provided with protection for strain owners. New plant species created in UPOV countries are allowed to use them commercially while indigenous or existing species are not covered. She said this distinction means that even while other countries may produce new strains, their predecessors can still be used by Thai growers, giving an assurance that plants currently grown and found in Thailand will continue to be commercially viable.
The President of the Thai Seed Trade Association (ThaSTA), Dr. Chairerg Sagwansupyakorn, said protections should be given to strain developers to motivate innovations that would benefit farmers. He said development takes over 10 years but market prices justify creations.
The Director for North America of the Department of Trade Negotiations, Pornchai Prapavong, explained that CPTPP membership is a 12 step process, with Thailand only at step 3, where no policy setting or Cabinet discussions have yet to take place. He added that even after Cabinet consideration happens, negotiations will have to be undertaken, allowing a long period of time for benefits to be assessed.

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