Plant breeders’ rights for food security and economic development

The protection of the rights of plant breeders is an important stimulus for the development of better plant varieties. The possibility to claim intellectual property rights on a variety gives a breeder the exclusive rights to exploit it and to prevent others from doing so illegally.

Many countries are therefore developing and implementing a legal framework for the protection of plant varieties within an intellectual property rights system. Besides developing legislation, the implementation of the Plant Breeders' Rights system has far-reaching consequences of a legal, institutional, technical, financial and commercial nature. In this course, participants will learn about these consequences, and about practical ways to implement new regulations.

A strong Plant Variety Protection System can ensure and improve food security in any country. This course aims at facilitating the introduction and practical implementation of Plant Breeders’ Rights in countries where legislation on this matter is being developed or has recently been passed. And at a better understanding of how a Plant Variety Protection System works for those who are involved in the registration of new varieties.

Naktuinbouw organises this course in collaboration with Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen UR.

Starting date: 
17 June 2019

Target group

Applicants should have a position in the variety registration system or have a position that will give them such responsibilities in the near future. Countries that have recently developed a plant variety protection law, or those that are currently in the process of developing such legislation, will be given priority. We also welcome employees of the legal departments in the agricultural industry.

Applicants should have an agricultural or horticultural education at a minimum of BSc level or a legal education supplemented with practical experience in agriculture and horticulture. Participants are expected to be proficient in English. 

Date and location

The course will be held from 17 till 28 June 2019 in Wageningen, the Netherlands. The course venue is Hof van Wageningen.


Course subjects:

  • Legal aspects: legal framework, requirements of the international Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), other systems, patents, regulations relating to genetic resource use
  • Institutional aspects: procedures and administration, organisational setup, variety registration systems, collaboration and testing
  • Technical aspects: the principle of Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability (DUS), practical DUS-testing, UPOV guidelines, field testing, biochemical/ molecular techniques, statistics, data analysis, reporting, variety denomination
  • Exploitation of plant breeders rights: enforcing rights, royalty collection, farm saved seed

The subjects will be introduced through lectures, discussions and working groups. Practical trainings on DUS testing form part of the course and visits will be made to seed certification services, breeding companies and the Aalsmeer flower auction.

Participants that register timely and have been accepted are invited to take part, free of charge, in the UPOV Distance Learning Course (DL-205) 'Introduction to the UPOV System of Plant Variety Protection under the UPOV Convention'. 


The course fee is € 3.700,-. The fee includes all course related costs such as materials, excursions and adminstration, but exclude board and lodging. Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen UR will accommodate participants at Hof van Wageningen with full board and lodging. Read a cost estimate.

Nuffic Scholarships include travel and full board and lodging. Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen UR is unable to assist you in obtaining financial support.

Nuffic Scholarships

A limited number of scholarships are available from Nuffic, the Netherlands organisation for international cooperation in higher education. For residents of certain countries, Nuffic can offer NFP scholarships via the Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) for this course. Nuffic also offers a StuNed scholarship especially for residents of Indonesia or a MENA scholarship for residents of Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Syria and Tunisia. If you want to apply for a scholarship you must meet a number of criteria. Please visit the following websites about the NFP scholarships, the StuNed scholarships or the MENA scholarships for more information.


For a NFP or MENA scholarship apply directly at Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen UR. You will receive a confirmation and more information within a week. Early application is recommended as some procedures to finalise subscription (f.e. funding, visa) can take some time.

After that, applications for a scholarship must be submitted by registering in Atlas, the application system of Nuffic. In the received admission letter you will find a weblink for Atlas. As application takes time and requires several documents, we recommend you to start it as soon as possible.

Deadline of registration

The NFP and StuNed Scholarships application deadline is 16 October 2018.

6 May 2019 is the admission deadline for application directly to Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen UR with funding other than Nuffic Scholarships.

Please use the Factsheet 2019 to print or easily forward the information about the course Plant breeders’ rights for food security and economic development.