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Survey Shows Farmers Don't Like Either Proposed Seed Royalty Models

Prairie farmers have spoken, and it seems they don't like either of Agriculture Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's proposed seed royalty models to facilitate more investment into plant breeding programs.
The Alberta Federation of Agriculture along with the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan and Keystone Agricultural Producers of Manitoba surveyed farmers online, collecting over 1000 responses.
The end point royalties proposed are when farmers pay the levy when selling the seed at the elevator which would be distributed back to the plant breeder, or trailing royalties paid when farmers buy the seed, and then agree to pay a royalties on farm saved seed the following years.
Alberta Federation of Agriculture President, Lynn Jacobson, says right now, the royalty is worked into the initial cost of purchasing certified seed and is only paid once.
"The majority of producers feel, once I paid for it and it's mine, why should I have to pay again to use that."
Jacobson says from their survey results, farmers have made their opinions load and clear.
"They don't like the models that are there, and if we're going to do anything like this, there's certain conditions that their [farmers] are going to accept, and one of them was the Federal Government's plan where they were talking about going more up to original research in the genomic end," he explained. "Producers say, 'That's fine', but they still want and prefer the Government do the genomics, but they also want them to be farther on down the line in the finishing of varieties too."
President of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, Todd Lewis, says farmers are not in a position to absorb extra costs.
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