The Minister of Agriculture of the region, Elena Pokrovskaya, held an offsite seminar with agrarians of the region on the topic "Development of potato seed production in the Novgorod region." The meeting was organized in the fields of the peasant farm of Anatoly Lipatov in the Shimsky district. He has been growing seed potatoes of high reproductions for many years and is ready to share his experience.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture of the region, there are five certified seed farms in the region for the production of potato seeds. Last year, they produced more than six thousand tons of elite and original seeds (in 2019 - 5,5 thousand tons). Four farms - peasant farms of Denis Pavlyuk, Anatoly Lipatov, Nikolay Kolesnikov and Ivan Geletey - are engaged in primary seed production, grow potato minitubers from microplants (meristems). Microplants are prepared in the laboratory on the basis of the branch of the Federal State Budgetary Institution "Rosselkhoztsentr" in the Novgorod region.
The head of the branch, Andrei Matov, said that today the laboratory's capacity has been increased to 50 thousand pieces of microplants. 13 varieties of potatoes are produced. Of the domestic selection, the most popular varieties are Aurora, Krepysh, Charoit, Sineglazka, Vasilek and Violet. 35 thousand microplants (in 2020 - 25 thousand) were planted in the greenhouses of seed farms, the rest - in the greenhouses of the branch of the Russian Agricultural Center. From this number of microplants, 400 thousand pieces of potato minitubers will be obtained this autumn.
The work on primary seed production is included in the priority regional project "Development of potato seed production". Its main task is to provide agricultural producers and the population of the region with seed potatoes of high reproduction - up to 40% by 2025. Today in our region the share of elite seeds in the total area occupied by potatoes is 37%. The average figure in Russia is 15%, and in the Northwest - 17,7%.
The regional government supports the development of primary seed production: this year, 4,5 million rubles will be allocated in the form of subsidies from the regional budget to reimburse part of the costs for the production of potato minitubers.
“Potato seed growing is a priority direction in agriculture not only in our region, but also in the country. This needs to be developed to ensure food security. In the same way as to conduct pedigree work in livestock farms. Today, only in the Novgorod and Leningrad regions, as well as in the farms of North Ossetia, a full cycle of primary seed production of potatoes has been organized, ”noted Elena Pokrovskaya.
She also stressed that 12% of certified seed potatoes in Russia are produced in the Novgorod region.
Seed farms in the region not only provide high-quality planting material for the region's farmers, but also sell part of their products to other areas. The issue of exporting elite varieties of seed potatoes is being studied.
Novgorod farmers have already appreciated the advantages of such work. Potato seeds of high reproduction show resistance to diseases, give good yields even in bad weather. This summer, for example, at first there was a drought, but now the fields are very humid due to rains. The participants of the visiting meeting examined the fields of the head of the farm Anatoly Lipatov, assessed what the harvest of different varieties of potatoes would be. They also discussed issues of further development of the industry, including from the point of view of the law on seed production, which is now being developed at the federal level.