1. Agriculture World

PepsiCo Ready to Withdraw Case against Farmers if FC5 Potato Cultivation is Stopped

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

PepsiCo India Holdings Private Ltd on 26th April 2019 said that if farmers in Gujarat stop cultivating the FC5 variety of Potato then it will withdraw the legal case it had filed against them. The company, in an oral submission before the commercial court in Ahmedabad has said that farmers can enter into an agreement with the firm to obtain seeds of the registered variety from it & sell back the produce to it.

It must be noted that the company so far has registered separate cases against 9 farmers of Gujarat for allegedly using its registered potato variety. The Indian arm of the US Company claimed that the cultivators grew FC5 potato, for which it has acquired exclusive PVP or plant variety protection rights in India in 2016 that is valid till 2031 – violating its rights under the PPV & FR Act 2001.

PepsiCo has asked for damages worth Rs 1.5 crore each from 4 farmers of Sabarkantha district. 5 other farmers were sued by the Company in North Gujarat under similar charges in the year 2017-18.

While appearing before the court, where the 4 of them have been indicted of using Pepsi-Co’s registered potato seed variety, the farmers have sought time till 12th June.

A spokesperson of the Company said, “PepsiCo India has proposed to amicably resolve the matter with people who were illegally using seeds of its registered variety. The company has also proposed that they can become part of its collaborative potato farming programme”.

Bipin Patel, one of the farmer said, “We do not use these seeds knowing them to be FC5. Earlier we had refused an offer by the company to enter into an accord mandating us to purchase seeds & sell potatoes to it. That was not remunerative hence we refused the offer.”

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