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Unification of national legislation to help EAEU countries’ cooperation in breeding and seed production

Unification of national legislation to help EAEU countries’ cooperation in breeding and seed production

Issues of developing breeding and seed production and increasing the self-sufficiency of the Eurasian Economic Union States with own seeds of agricultural crops were discussed by representatives of state authorities, the business community, sectoral public associations and scientific and educational organizations of the EAEU countries during a consultation organized at the Eurasian Economic Commission’s venue.

Artak Kamalyan, EEC Minister in charge of Industry and Agriculture, reported on the Commission’s work in this direction. In particular, the measures taken by the Commission and the Union countries for full functioning of the common market of seeds and mutual recognition of documents on their varietal and sowing characteristics.

This has been made possible after adopting the Agreement on Circulation of Seeds of Agricultural Plants within the EAEU dated November 7, 2017. Work in this direction does not stand still. Just a month later, it is planned to approve at the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council’s meeting a List of measures to unify the Union States’ national legislation in the fields of variety testing and seed production," Artak Kamalyan noted.

According to the EEC Minister, adopting this document will help develop cooperation ties in breeding and seed production of the EAEU countries based on common approaches to regulation that will ultimately affect the increase of self-sufficiency of agricultural manufacturers with high-yielding varieties and high-quality seeds as well as competitiveness growth of the Union’s agricultural sectors.

The Minister stressed that the EAEU had currently formed a regulatory and procedural framework contributing to unhindered circulation of seeds within the Union. The EAEU has ensured mutual recognition of the Member States’ documents on the quality of seeds, common methods for determining the sowing characteristics of seeds are used as well as common methods for determining varietal qualities are used since this January 1. The procedure for forming and maintaining the unified register of varieties within the Union’s integrated information system has been determined. Besides, the Strategy for Developing the Eurasian Economic Integration until 2025 provides for developing and implementing joint measures to develop breeding and seed production as well as to further unify national legislation in variety testing and seed production.

As of year-end 2020, the import of seeds to the EAEU exceeded 1 bln dollars, more than 80% of which is accounted for sunflower seeds, corn, sugar beet, vegetable crops and planting material of fruit crops. The meeting attendees expressed a consensus that this issue was directly related to ensuring the Union’s food security to resolve which a set of measures should be taken. They include state regulation and support of agricultural plant breeding and seed production industries and cooperation between science and business.

The event resulted in placing a number of proposals on the Commission's agenda. In particular, the need to elaborate a draft program for developing breeding and seed production in the Union countries and fund raising for the Union’s research (breeding) programs was noted.

Furthermore, the proposals submitted by the meeting attendees have been reflected in joint resolution and will be used in implementing strategic initiatives disclosed by the Heads of the EAEU countries to develop integration in the agricultural sector in general and supporting areas – breeding and seed production, in particular.