A multinational giant using all its might to crush four small farmers for an alleged patent infringement: this is how PepsiCo’s decision to sue a group of Gujarat farmers for Rs 1 crore each played out in the media early this month. The US-based snack and beverage maker was accused of coercion for taking the farmers to court for growing FC5 potato variety, which it exclusively developed for its Lay’s chips.
It was the money — Rs 1 crore — that caught attention: how can a poor farmer pay such a huge amount? And instinctively, you side with the farmer. But is that instinct correct? Who is right: the farmers or the drinks major they are up against? [Read more]