New Delhi : American multinational company PepsiCo on Saturday said it will make an out-of-court settlement with the potato farmers in Gujarat.The development came after PepsiCo filed a suit against four farmers in the state claiming that they used its patented seeds to grow potatoes without prior permission.
“PepsiCo India has proposed to amicably settle with people who were unlawfully using seeds of its registered variety. PepsiCo has also proposed that they may become part of its collaborative potato farming program. This program gives them access to higher yields, enhanced quality, training in best-in-class practices and better prices.
In case they do not wish to join this program, they can simply sign an agreement and grow other available varieties of potatoes,” the company said in a statement.”It is significant to note that the company’s collaborative potato farming program is best in class and is built on strong backward and forward linkages that improve livelihoods by using protected seeds,” it added.
PepsiCo, in its statement, said it was compelled to resort to judicial recourse in order to safeguard the larger interest of thousands of farmers engaged with its collaborative potato farming program.”PepsiCo India remains deeply committed to resolving the matter and ensuring adoption of best farming practices,” the company reaffirmed.
On Friday, Anand Yagnik, the advocate representing the four farmers, had said PepsiCo claimed to have suffered losses as these farmers did not purchase seeds from them to grow the potatoes. “The court has said that farmers should not sow potatoes using five types of seeds that are used by PepsiCo,” he had told media. Yagnik further said that the advocate appearing for the New York-based conglomerate had said in a court that the company does not want to have a clash with farmers. (ANI)