The company's decision to sue farmers for allegedl growing a variety of the tuber for which it claims plan variety protection (PVP) rights, had led to a public outcry.
Food and beverages giant PepsiCo India Thursday said it will withdraw its lawsuit against four Gujarat potato farmers accused of infringing it patent. “After discussions with the government, the company has agreed to withdraw the cases against the farmers,” PepsiCo India spokesman said. PepsiCo in April sued four farmers for cultivating potato variety grown exclusively for its popular Lay’s potato chips.
The company’s decision to sue farmers for alleged growing a variety of the tuber for which it claims plan variety protection (PVP) rights, had led to a public outcry. In a statement, PepsiCo India said it has agreed to withdraw cases against farmers after discussion with th government. “We are relying on the said discussions to find a long term and an amicable resolution of all issues around see protection,” it said.
It filed cases against nine farmers from Sabarkanth and Aravalli districts in Gujarat for allegedly growing variety of potatoes for which the company has claimed PV rights and sought damages ranging from Rs 20 lakh to Rs crore.
“The company remains deeply committed to the thousand of farmers we work with across the country and toward ensuring adoption of best farming practices” the statement said Altogether 11 farmers of Gujarat have been sued by th company till now. Two other farmers of Banaskantha district were sued earlier by the company on similar grounds.