NFU takes aim at new seed royalty proposal

The National Farmers Union will be hosting an event in Saskatoon tomorrow to express its views on seed royalties.

Former NFU president Terry Boehm and Manitoba Regional NFU co-ordinator Ian Robson will speak at the event, to be held at 10 a.m. in the Hilton Garden Inn in Saskatoon.

Agriculture Canada recently launched consultations on a proposed model that would see royalties charged on farm saved seed.

Although details, including proposed royalty rates, have yet to be established, the NFU says farmers could end up paying millions of dollars to seed companies every year for the right to replant seed that they harvested in previous years.

By changing regulations under Canada’s plant breeders’ rights legislation, the royalties could make illegal the ancient practice of freely saving and reusing seed, the organization says.

Boehm and Robson will explain how, in their views, the proposed royalty system would harm Canadian farmers, citizens and society in general. 

The NFU event will kick off the organization’s 49th annual convention, which also takes place at the Hilton Garden Inn in Saskatoon from Nov. 22-24.


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