International Potato Center (CIP) in partnership with INIAP Ecuador seeks plant breeders rights in Ecuador for the potato variety INIAP-CIP-LIBERTAD

As part of efforts to improve seed systems and food security, the International Potato Center (CIP)[1] has partnered with the Ecuadorian National Institute of Agricultural Research (INIAP)[2] in applying for plant breeder’s rights in Ecuador to register the intellectual property for the new potato variety INIAP-CIP-LIBERTAD, in order to ensure that quality seed for this variety is available and accessible to farmers.

On April 17, 2018, CIP and INIAP filed a plant breeder’s rights application with the National Intellectual Rights Service (SENADI) for the variety INIAP-CIP-LIBERTAD, which is now in the last stage of formal examination. Once formal examination by SENADI is concluded, the plant variety application will be published in SENADI’s Gazette, which is expected to happen by the end of November 2019. As part of complementary actions, INIAP-CIP-LIBERTAD is being shared within the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture’s Multilateral System, to ensure availability of the variety in accordance with the Treaty.

The potato variety INIAP-CIP-LIBERTAD is resistant to late blight disease and has a relatively short crop cycle of less than 120 days, characteristics that, combined with integrated crop management, allow it to have a lower environmental impact than other commercial varieties, which require a more agrochemical-intensive management. It also has characteristics that make it appropriate for processing into stick-type fries. Field evaluations confirm that it performs well in the Ecuadorian provinces of Pichincha, Tungurahua and Chimborazo.

By applying for plant breeder’s rights (PBR), CIP and INIAP seek to ensure that farmers will have access to quality seed potatoes at a low cost, because almost half of the production cost will be subsidized by INIAP, working with qualified seed producers. The PBR application will help motivate seed producers to offer farmers quality seed potatoes for this variety in sufficient amounts and good phytosanitary condition, and will enhance traceability and impact analysis in Ecuador.

The PBR application will also support INIAP in the process of generating incentives for producers to make marketing investments in positioning the potato variety, and promoting smaller seed businesses to produce seed potatoes of the new variety for sale to smallholder farmers in their regions

[1] The International Potato Center (CIP) is a research-for-development organization headquartered in Lima, Peru that delivers innovative science-based solutions to enhance access to affordable nutritious food, foster inclusive sustainable business and employment growth, and drive the climate resilience of root and tuber agri-food systems.

[2] INIAP is a public research institute attached to the Ecuadorian Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, whose main purposes is to promote scientific research, generation, innovation, validation and dissemination of technologies in the agricultural and forestry production sector.