Animal and plant species to benefit from IPR

WINDHOEK: Stakeholders in the food and agriculture sectors gathered on Wednesday to discuss ways on how animal and plant species, breeds and products can benefit from the value of intellectual property rights (IPR).

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF), in collaboration with the Business Intellectual Property Agency (BIPA,) held a one-day workshop under the theme ‘The value of holding national and international intellectual property rights’.

Speaking at the occasion, MAWF permanent secretary Joseph Iita said discussions will allow government to better determine how best the genetic resources and their IPR options can be used to enhance the contribution of genetic resources to Namibia’s economy.

“This workshop is an opportunity for us to see whether there is a need for some of our species or breeds and products to benefit from the value of intellectual property rights. The workshop also highlight the gaps hindering the implementation of IPR options,” he noted.

There may be a lack of expertise to advise on IPR in-country, or there may be a need for information or for clearer procedures, policies and legislation, Iita noted.

During the workshop, delegates discussed various issues related to IPR as well as ways to protect and promote innovations and developments from the use of genetic resources.The participants also explored how the value of Namibian genetic resources and related products could be enhanced through the use of intellectual property options.