In an interview with Mehr News Agency (MNA), Valiollah Mohammadi, professor of Agronomy and Plant Breeding Sciences at University of Tehran warned the Iranian parliament which is going to discuss Iran’s membership in the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) next week.
Dr. Mohammadi said “Iran is not a seed exporter, and the major part of the country's seeds such as maize, canola, soybeans, cotton, cucumber, tomatoes, violets, petunia, etc are imported from abroad to the country. As a result, membership in that convention means supporting the foreigner, not the domestic production.”
Tehran University professor added, " in addition to the price of the seeds we have paid so far, we have to pay more money to the foreigner,” asking “why do we have to pay more to foreign seed companies?"
Dr. Mohammadi also said, “seeds of many of these indigenous cultivars such as wheat, clover, alfalfa, herbs and ... have been exported from the country in recent years and are now registered by foreign companies as their own,” warning “If you subscribe to the convention, even for the cultivation of these Iranian figures (such as Iranian clover), we will have to pay foreigners.”
Tehran University faculty member concluded “if a treaty is harmful to the country, we will never have to join it, neither now nor in the future. As yet, more than 100 countries have not joined the convention.”
According to its website, the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants or UPOV is an intergovernmental organization with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The current Secretary-General of UPOV is Francis Gurry.