Since 2008, CENIBRA has registered with the National Cultivar Registry 17 eucalyptus clones for pulp production, in line with MAPA's requirements. It means that CENIBRA is authorized to produce, sell and use these clones in the whole country. Another five clones are in process of being registered this year. The NCR is a market regulatory tool that protects the farmer against the indiscriminate sales of seeds and seedlings of cultivars that have not been tested or validated for a given environmental condition where the cultivar is intended to be planted.
According to Elizabete Keiko Takahashi, biotechnology specialist, it is necessary a period of up to five years to describe and register eucalyptus clones. "Tests are made to differentiate one clone from another and check whether they are homogeneous and stable in a given planting area. Forms must be filled out with information gathered at different plant ages with respect to the main morphological, biological and physiological characteristics, so that the clone could be identified. Data on productivity, adaptability, behavior and reaction to plague and diseases must be included as well," she explains. "Every nursery should register its genetic material if it's interested in producing and selling this material. The registration ensures the material quality and shows that it was tested and validated for a certain environment," Antônio Marcos Rosado, genetic improvement specialist, added.
Last year, CENIBRA was granted the cultivar protection certificates for two eucalyptus clones developed by the company. It means that these materials cannot be used for commercial purposes by third parties during 18 years without the previous authorization from the clone owner. "The cultivar protection is a tool that ensures the intellectual property of the plant to the entity that has generated and protected it. The agency in charge of cultivar protection belongs to the Agriculture, Cattle Breeding and Supply Ministry, under the National Cultivar Protection Service (NCPS)," Elizabete points out.
A number of requirements have to be met for the protection to be granted, such as: to be the product of genetic improvement; not to be sold abroad (for more than six years) on in Brazil (for more than one year), to be unique, homogeneous and stable; and to be registered with the NCR. The clone registration and protection criteria and guidance are described in a CENIBRA procedure, which not only describes the applicable standards, but also makes such activities an easier task. It must be borne in mind that every genetic material results from the Company's genetic improvement program.
Protection x Registration
In the case of cultivars, the distinction between registration and protection is the possibility of the cultivar breeder to dispose of its rights. In order to be sold, the cultivar must be registered with the National Cultivar Registry (NCR), and for the plant breeder to charge licensing royalties the cultivar must be protected in the National Cultivar Protection Service. In the case of both protection and registration, there are the figures of the plant breeder and the plant improver. Plant improver is the individual that establishes the descriptors that distinguish a given cultivar from others, i.e., it is the individual author of the protected creation. Plant breeder is the individual or legal entity that has obtained the new cultivar or an essentially derived cultivar and holds its ownership under the conditions set forth by the Cultivar Protection Act.