Back in June, the Canadian Plant Technology Agency reported some nefarious goings-on regarding Kazakhstani groups trying to acquire Canadian plant genetics.
“What has happened is that Kazakhstan companies recognize the Canadian varieties as being leading genetics that would work in their country,” says Lorne Hadley, executive director of Canadian Plant Technology Agency. “For the second year in a row, they have gone out and gone directly to farmers and seed growers trying to buy leading Canadian varieties.”
The reason they’re going directly to farmers and seed growers is because breeders and distributors have not come to any agreement with them to export those genetics to Kazakhstan, says Hadley.
Earlier in the year, the target crop was wheat. Anywhere from 10 to 40 tonnes of a particular variety has been requested. The Kazakhstani groups will even watch social media, and if farmers talk about how well a variety performed, they’ll search for that particular variety.
Hadley is cautioning seed growers and distributors to watch for someone asking for a mini-bulk bag to be repackaged elsewhere, that it could be going to Kazakhstan.
“Our role [CPTA] is to make sure that those people that are representing and selling Canadian seed in Canada understand that no-one has granted the right to export our genetics to Kazakhstan,” says Hadley.
Penalties for selling to a Kazakhstani buyer would be equal to whatever damage in a Canadian court says Hadley, and hopes it never gets to that point — that Canadian sellers refuse any requests and are all fully aware.
Listen in on the full conversation between Hadley and Shaun Haney.