5 Aug 2022 16:13

Russian Agriculture Ministry proposing setting quotas for seed imports

TOMSK. Aug 5 (Interfax) - The Russian Agriculture Ministry is proposing setting quotas on seed imports.

"We have been always lived on foreign seeds. Even those suppliers who told us that they would never leave, they will receive some kind of order from unfriendly countries, and 90% of seeds are from unfriendly countries," First Deputy Minister of Agriculture Oksana Lut told reporters during a working trip to the Tomsk region. "Therefore, given that it is an element of food security, we cannot allow this, so we will move to a quota system for imported seeds, gradually reducing quotas and understanding that we are fulfilling our need for seeds," she said.

It is necessary to incentivize the development of breeding, and it is important that businesses do this as well, Lut said. "We cannot have only science working on this, because the initiative must come from the customer," she said.

Russia is most dependent on imports of sugar beet, potato, corn and sunflower seeds, the first deputy minister said. "And the issue of breeders is key here because, unfortunately, the number of breeders we have is small, there is no motivation to do it even for beginners," she said, adding that the key task now is to focus on training breeders. "We're hoping for support from business," Lut said.

As reported, the Agriculture Ministry plans to develop a plan for the accelerated transition of crop production to seeds bred domestically. "In the near future we will develop a road map for the transition of the industry to domestic sunflowers and other crops. In particular, for accelerated implementation of Russian breeding in agricultural production there are plans to form a seed purchase plan broken down by regions, as is the case with mineral fertilizers," the ministry said in a statement.