Farmers rights groups threaten to intensify stir in Pepsico matter

Farmers rights groups threaten to intensify stir in Pepsico matter

Agency News

New Delhi, May 4: Farmers’ rights groups on Saturday threatened to intensify their stir against PepsiCo Inc which has so far not withdrawn its lawsuit against some Gujarat potato farmers for sowing FL 2027 variety without permission from the company.

Criticising the Gujarat government—which intervened in the matter—for persuading farmers from desisting to grow this variety of potato, the activists said,“PepsiCo India should be explained the Indian law where farmers’ right over seeds supersedes PepsiCo’s rights.’’ The activists warned that they will intensify their stir.

On Thursday, it was widely reported in the media that PepsiCo had agreed to withdraw their lawsuit against 11 farmers for sowing this particular variety that is used in making of Lays potato chips.

''However, they have not yet withdrawn the cases,'' said Ahmadabad-based Jatan Trust and Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture.

''Why should government try to persuade the farmers when they have not committed any crime under our law? Such ‘deals’ show that either the government does not know the law, or wants to give a face-saver to the company. Moreover, in such an arrangement lakh of Indian farmers stand to lose their freedom of sowing,'' said farmers’ leaders.

''Section 39 (1) (iv) of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights makes it clear that no permission is required to be taken by farmers,'' they added. (UNI)