The bill on seed production, submitted by the Ministry of Agriculture to the government at the end of April, requires a major revision. Both agrarians and related ministries are sure of this. In its current form, it will not solve the problem of import substitution of seeds set by the president.
There are several major complaints. The bill introduces the need for licensing and certification of seed production. However, the response of the Ministry of Economic Development to the project states that the certification requirement is contrary to the law on technical regulation. And licensing is not necessary for the industry, because its main goal is to prevent damage to the rights, life or health of citizens, the environment. And for other purposes, licensing is not allowed. In addition, the document introduces a ban on the import of foreign seeds without control of their cultivation and processing by the Russian authorities. It contains excessive obligations, prohibitions and restrictions for agribusiness, and can also lead to unreasonable expenses of farmers and budgets of all levels, conclude in the Ministry of Economy and Trade.
In early June, the leaders of six industry associations sent a consolidated position on the project to the Ministry of Agriculture. They agree with Minek: certification and licensing will require additional costs from the business, which will not increase the desire to invest in the industry. But such measures will not affect the quality of products and will not solve the issue of counterfeit.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, according to the results of 2019, the share of seeds of domestic selection used in Russia amounted to 62,7%. Most Russian agrarians are dependent on imported sugar beet seeds (domestic seeds account for 0,6% of the total).