In the spotlights: We share our knowledge of Plant Breeders' Rights worldwide

The Netherlands is a world leader in Plant Breeder's Rights and is active in sharing knowledge with third countries. Good examples of this are the Plant Variety Protection (PVP) Development Program (Toolbox) and the extensive PBR training organised by Naktuinbouw.

Our open attitude to sharing knowledge is inspired by the belief that the world will benefit from the availability of good varieties. Feeding the growing world population in a responsible and sustainable way is the main goal of improved varieties. This not only applies to food crops that form the foundation of a country's food security, but also to ornamental varieties that also contribute to the economic development of a country and to the quality of life and welfare of its inhabitants. An active breeding sector is the only way to satisfy the need for improved and better varieties.

PVP Toolbox is a successful tool for third countries

A national or international harmonised system of Plant Breeders' Rights for the registration and protection of new plant varieties is very important. A system based on the UPOV model enables companies and organisations to be sufficiently compensated for their breeding efforts, as well as stimulating them to continue breeding new and better varieties.

There is a high, international demand for expertise on how to establish and professionalise PBR systems. The Netherlands has a structural and continuing response in the form of the PVP Toolbox. This programme allows third countries to work together with Dutch experts to develop and implement Plant Breeders’ Rights systems or improve existing procedures. The programme has proven to be a successful tool in improving local PVP systems. Requests for the Toolbox projects are mainly received from the agricultural attachés at embassies.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality LNV) ) funds the PVP Toolbox. Naktuinbouw has been tasked with the coordination and a large part of the implementation of the activities. The programme offers various tools, such as

  • training on location
  • visits by delegations to the Netherlands
  • ‘Plant Breeders Rights for Food Security and Economic Development’ training course.

Naktuinbouw is accountable to the Ministry of LNV. We work with the Board for Plant Varieties, the Ministry and other experts and/or sector organisations and can also involve the CPVO, UPOV or other fellow inspection services.

Extensive experience of training and online opportunities integrated in a new form of PBR training

We have integrated 25 years of training experience in Plant Breeders' Rights systems into an extensive online study programme. This English language programmes consists of seven e-learning components, which cover various subjects:

  • the significance and advantages of a (harmonised) Plant Breeders' Rights system
  • the legal framework established by the UPOV Convention
  • administrative procedures
  • various Plant Breeders' Rights systems
  • the background and practical aspects of DUS testing
  • the use of molecular techniques
  • monitoring and inspecting the implementation of the rules
  • exemptions to the rights
  • the relationship between PBR and seed collection systems
  • agreements on genetic resources

This training was offered once a year. Participants travelled to the Netherlands from different countries to learn more about Plant Breeders' Rights. Due to the corona pandemic restrictions, we offered the training online from 2020. This was such a success, we decided to develop the online programme further. From October 2023, participants can now start the English language study programme ‘Plant Breeders’ Rights for Food Security and Economic Development’ every month.

Read more about this training course on our website.