In order to form a committee that views Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Right Act, the government has appointed M Prabhakar Rao as its member for a period of three years.
Rao is the chairman of Nuziveedu Seeds which is a part of ongoing conflict with Monsanto over licensing and royalty of seed technology.
Rao has become a representative of a seed company by replacing Usha Barwale Zehr, chief technology officer of Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company Ltd (Mahyco). Interestingly, Mahyco is connected to Monsanto.
The committee that consists of 10 official and non-official members is also consisted of various principal secretaries of agriculture from Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
The Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers Right Act was enacted to provide for the establishment of an effective system for protection of plant varieties, the rights of farmers and plant breeders, and to encourage the development and cultivation of new varieties of plants.