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Belarus PM urges to speed up construction of seed production facilities in Belarus

MINSK, 10 January (BelTA) – Construction of modern seed production facilities in Belarus should be sped up, Belarus Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich said at a meeting of the Presidium of the Council of Ministers on 10 January to consider the progress made in the implementation of the seed production development program for 2008-2013, BelTA has learnt.

In line with the President’s instructions, there should be built 40 up-to-date seed production plants in Belarus. The year 2012 is the deadline to fulfill the plan. However, only 15 centers for postharvest treatment of elite seeds have been so far built as part of the program (44% of the plan).

According to Mikhail Myasnikovich, all the regions have been underachieving here (both in quantitative and qualitative figures). In this respect the Belarusian head of government urged to accelerate the implementation of the tasks to launch all the facilities as scheduled.

Agriculture and Food Minister Mikhail Rusyi informed that the implementation of the program has enabled the country to considerably widen the variety assortment, introduce new high-yielding varieties, satisfy the needs of agricultural companies in grain, flax, perennial grass, maize seeds and reach the projected elite seed production.

At the same time technical revamping of elite seed production plants has been slow. “It pertains to the construction of new seed-production facilities as well,” the official said. The minister also informed that as part of the program the organizations of the National Academy of Sciences have received 135 varieties of crops for testing when the target was 51 varieties. Today, farmers are set to design the varieties specifically for industries, for example bakery, alcohol production, etc. In 2008-2011 much work was done in the production of unique seeds. Assignments were fulfilled across all groups of crops, except for winter rye, lupine and legumes. It is expected that these shortcomings will be eliminated this year.

Mikhail Rusyi also drew attention to the lack of coordination in the production of seeds in regions both in terms of crops and varieties. “This results in overproduction of the already tested varieties. This entails additional costs, and non-fulfillment of the assignments regarding the development of new varieties,” he said.

Mikhail Myasnikovich asked to outline the problems that now exist in the seed production industry. According to the head of government, many problems in this area are due to the lack of clear chain of command. “It turns out that Belsemena and Sortoispytaniya have remained in place while seed production has been redeployed to regions. Thus we have some management gap that must be eliminated, including by economic methods and improved discipline,” the Prime Minister said. We should have high standards at all stages of seed development, right to mass reproduction, emphasized the Prime Minister.

He also drew attention to the need to address legislative issues in joint production of seeds abroad, including the one of parental forms. “We need to legitimize what we produce together with other countries,” said the head of government.