PepsiCo loses to Gujarat farmers:PepsiCo claims compensation of Rs 4.20 crore against 4 farmers of North Gujarat, verdict in favor of farmers

  • PepsiCo’s intellectual property rights over the potato variety were revoked
  • Farmers in Gujarat will be able to cultivate FC-5 variety of potatoes, the company’s patent has been canceled

    PepsiCo, a multinational company that has sued potato farmers for crores of rupees in North Gujarat, has lost to farmers and its rights to seeds have been revoked in the name of intellectual property. The Delhi-based PPV and FR Authority in India has ruled in favor of the farmers in the case, giving the company a slap in the face. Now PepsiCo’s intellectual property rights over the FC-5 variety of potato are gone and the farmer’s right is paramount.

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    PepsiCo, a US multinational company, conducted a sting operation on four farmers in Wadali taluka in 2019 and filed a suit in a commercial court for a total of Rs 4.20 crore at Rs 1.05 crore per farmer. Although the company withdrew its claim after being criticized at home and internationally for its exploitation of farmers and intimidation of farmers, it retained the seed rights. Following this, farmer activists applied to the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority of India in Delhi to cancel the registration of PepsiCo’s FC-5 potato variety.

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    In this case, the farmers claimed that the rights of the seed have been permanently settled in the law and the rights of the farmers have been established in addition to the rights of the breeder. After 30 months of fighting, the Delhi-based authority has given a 79-page pro-farmer judgment to revoke FC-5 registration, depriving PepsiCo of its intellectual property rights across the country.

    What is the whole matter?
    The brief details of the whole chapter is that in the year 2018, PepsiCo paid Rs. Claimed compensation of Rs 20 lakh. PepsiCo filed a lawsuit in the Modasa District Court after the farmers approached the Kisan Unions. One year later, in 2019, four farmers in three villages of Wadali taluka were fined Rs. 1.05 crore for a total of Rs. 4.20 crore compensation was claimed in the Commercial Court. Although PepsiCo’s image was tarnished by this claim and due to increasing local as well as international pressure, within 26/04/18, PepsiCo offered to withdraw the case if the farmers apologized, but PepsiCo unconditionally withdrew the case within two to three weeks after the farmers refused.

    Attempts by seed companies to grab seed rights have been
    thwarted, said Kavita Kuruganti, a co-founder of Asha Institute. Rakhi has announced the cancellation of registration. As a result of this ruling, the company no longer has intellectual property rights. Farmers have been doing and will continue to do seed breeding for years and efforts by seed companies to grab seed rights have been thwarted. He hoped that the farmers would win after this decision and also become aware of the rights of law.

    Bipinbhai Patel of Laxmanpura village in Wadali taluka said the company had set up a trap for the second year in a row to intimidate a private agency. In which a call came from a person named Harjit Singh and Rs. After offering to give 50 more, they came to see the farm and after seeing the farm they were told to come again. Reported to be canceled. After the potato season was over, PepsiCo issued a court-through notice in the Commercial Court against Bipinbhai Patel (resides in Laxmanpura Kampa), Chhabilbhai Patel and Vinodbhai Patel (both resides in Badol Kampa) and Haribhai Patel (resides in Medh Kampa) for a total of Rs. 4.20 crore.