Russia continues to make announcements about supporting farming, this time with the First Deputy Minister of Agriculture emphasizing the need to develop seed breeding.
At a recent meeting of scientists and seed breeders the Minister said they must ensure that farmers are supplied with quality Russian seeds and it is necessary to change the proportion of seed on the market to compete with foreign selection.
The market share of imported seeds is 20% to 80% depending on the crop, currently 70% of sugar beet seed is imported, 28% corn, 44% sunflower, 23% vegetables and up to 80% of potatoes.
The Minister said that national seed breeders needed to master modern technologies to ensure control over the production and circulation of seeds.
It’s probably a fair point but it wasn’t reported how any this would be funded and seed breeding it can be an expensive and lengthy process.
If you’re one of the foreign seed companies currently importing into the lucrative Russian market I wouldn’t worry too much just yet but, as I say often in these blogs, it does illustrate the intent of Russia’s agricultural policy so best be prepared.