OREANDA-NEWS  The National Seed Breeding Consortium will develop 15 high-yielding sunflower hybrids within the framework of the Federal Scientific and Technical Program for the Development of Agriculture, according to a press release from the consortium.

"The companies Ruseed, Bio-Ton, Efko-Seed Production, the federal scientific center All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Oilseeds named after V.S. Pustovoit (VNIIMK) and the South Ural State Agrarian University have signed an agreement on scientific and production partnership. Within the framework of the cooperation, 15 new high-yielding sunflower hybrids with increased biological efficiency will be created. Thus, the National Seed Breeding Consortium has joined the FNTP for the development of agriculture until 2030," the message reads.

VNIIMK scientists will be engaged in breeding new promising sunflower hybrids with specified economically valuable characteristics, Ruseed will provide production facilities for the project, tests on growing hybrids will take place on the lands of the agro-corporation Bio-Ton, and the introduction into production will take place at the facilities of Efko. In turn, the South Ural State Agrarian University will be engaged in staffing the project and training specialists.

The consortium uniting these companies and VNIIMK was established in February. "This is a unique practice for Russia. For the first time, all participants in the process - geneticists, breeders, seed producers, processors and commodity producers - have joined together to develop a product. They will interact at every stage of the creation of hybrids, from breeding to introduction into production," the consortium stressed.

"Today, breeders and seed producers face a strategic task – to overcome dependence on imports. For sunflower, for example, now the share of domestic seeds is slightly more than 20%, but by 2030 we can increase it 4 times, to 80%. The goal of our joint work within the framework of the consortium is not just to produce a high-quality domestic product, but to ensure its commercialization and make it in demand on the market," Mark Gecht, Ruseed's managing partner, is quoted in the message.