There is a slightly different format for the blog posts this week as I am attending a workshop in Mombasa meeting with a group of agricultural IP practitioners from all around the world; mainly from developing countries. This is truly a unique group of individuals and if anyone knows of any similar group it would be great to hear from you!
We at CAS-IP have hoped this group of people would be able to support one another by sharing their experiences and ideas – and today we received confirmation that this growing community of practice/professional society has indeed been of great use to participants. There is too much to blog now, but over dinner I asked my fellow diners what the most interesting thing they had learnt today was. These were a couple of the replies:
Victoria Henson-Apollonio from CAS-IP said:
“I noted that there was a lot of expectation that the new DG of WIPO, Francis Gurry, would bring about real change on the development agenda.”
Beverly Trayner (the workshop facilitator for some of the sessions, and a community of practice expert) said:
“what really struck me was how important the international group is, and how people identify with that wider group, gain strength and empowerment from it”
What I had learnt today came from a great discussion about how to ensure research outputs are transferred to the end user (i.e the farmer). The simple and plain comment that stuck most in my mind was a comment from a participant from Tanzania. A comparison between the African and the US/European models of seed markets was made. Within the context of a lack of a viable (private sector) seed market in Africa to bring research outputs to end users, it was pointed out that this isn’t possible in developed economies where agriculture enjoys huge subsidies – so why should it be expected in Africa?
Anyway, that is just a sample. We were a small group at dinner tonight – it had been a long day – but I plan to record some more insights over the next couple of days for a future blog post. For now I am exhausted and going to bed before another full day of meetings tomorrow!