Agriculture minister Gerry Ritz was in Winnipeg, Man., today to announce the tabling of Bill C-18, the Agricultural Growth Act. The act covers a host of agriculture-related regulations — a total of nine — with an eye to “amending, streamlining and modernizing” Canada’s regulations as they relate to several areas of agriculture. From plant breeding and variety registration, to the cash advance program and the registration of some fertilizer and feed products, the Agricultural Growth Act will have a significant impact on many aspects of Canada’s ag sector.
Perhaps the biggest piece of this bill is that it tackles UPOV 91, compliance with which Canada had yet to sign on with, even though most other developed nations have. The bill, if passed, will finally bring Canada in line with the standard. Minister Ritz, when asked said that compliance by August 1, 2014 was still possible, though it all depends on the parliamentary process.
Read more: What is UPOV 91?
But what does UPOV 91 mean for farmers? To answer that question, Shaun Haney asked Peter Entz, president of the Canadian Seed Trade Association, who was at today’s announcement. In the interview below, Entz discusses what UPOV 91 means to farmers, royalties and bringing new varieties to market in Canada.
If you cannot see the above audio player, CLICK HERE