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Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources Under the Spotlight

November 17, 2020

Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

Accession to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is under consideration.

The agriculture, land reform and rural development department published the call for comment in Government Gazette 43900.

According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, the objectives of the international treaty is the conservation and sustainable use of all plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of their use, in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity, for sustainable agriculture and food security.

Comment on the proposed accession to the treaty is invited within 30 days of the date of publication.

Meanwhile, in Board Notice 135, the Agricultural Produce Agents Council published Biosecurity Rules for Livestock Agents in terms of the Agricultural Produce Agents Act.

The rules aim to regulate the “livestock agent’s industry with specific reference to required precautions to take during the gathering of live animals at auctions to reduce the risk of the spreading controlled, notifiable and other animal diseases”.

The rules focus on record keeping and auditing, animal identification, biosecurity measure at the auction facility, biosecurity measures at farm of origin before movement to an auction, administrative checkpoint, actions required at the arrival area, biosecure areas and official reporting procedures of suspect animals.

The rules came into effect on the date of publication.

In Notice 1206, the department listed applications for plant breeders’ rights.

Applications withdrawn, applications rejected, applications for approval of alterations of denominations, notifications of change of agents, grant of plant breeders’ rights and plant breeders’ rights expired are also listed.

In Notice 1210, the department published an amendment to the application of the Plant Improvement Act.

Regulations Relating to Establishments, Varieties, Plants and Propagating Material are also amended.

A new table 2 on provisions relating to the recognition of varieties and table 4 on provisions relating to seed and seed samples are inserted.