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Genetic Erosion of Agrobiodiversity in India and Intellectual Property Rights: Interplay and some Key IssuesThis article has been published in Patentmatics 5 (6), June 2005. Agrobiodiversity is the backbone of a nationâ s food security and the basis of economic development as a whole. Over the years this diversity in India is under pressure due to the massive commercialisation of agriculture leading to the almost extinction of traditional farming systems. The top-down system of agricultural research, where farmers are seen merely as recipients of research rather than as participants in it, has contributed to an increased dependence on a relatively few plant varieties. This trend and the increasing industrialization of agriculture are key factors in what can only be called "genetic erosion". The term refers to both the loss of species and the reduction of variety. Behind this commercialization there lies the interest of the breeders for obtaining intellectual property rights. It has a very complicated relationship with this diversity. The paper highlights this relationship and provides some suggestions in order to rectify the current negative phenomenon.