Looking at the Future
The Institute employs 620 people, of whom a hundred hold doctoral degrees. 1,248 varieties and hybrids of various agricultural plant species have been created. These varieties have been spread throughout the world, from Argentina and Canada, across Europe, to India, China and Japan. Thanks to these achievements of the Institute, Serbia has had food security even in the most difficult years. ”Our seeds are created from knowledge, effort and resolve to survive in our country, which is more than arable land for us”. In 2018, the Institute officially became an institution of special national significance

With the celebration in Serbian National Theater in Novi Sad, the Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops recently celebrated a great jubilee: 80 years of existence and work. It was an occasion for an interview with prof. Dr. Bogdan Kuzmanović, Chairman of the Management Board of this institution of national importance.

The Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops has ”80 Years of Good Seed” behind it (longer than the age of many countries in this region). What was the journey like and what achievements have been made along the way?
Over the past 80 years, the Institute has grown from a modest research station to the giant of European and world agricultural science. By the decision of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, on 15 September 1938, the Agricultural Experiment and Control Station started to work in Novi Sad. For the needs of the Agricultural Station, 23 hectares of agricultural land were purchased in the neighborhood of Rimski Šančevi, and 13 people were employed at the station – 10 experts and three administrative officers. Eighty years later, in September 2018, the Institute for Field and Vegetable Crops has a status of national importance, has 800 hectares of agricultural land at its disposal and 620 employees, of which 103 researchers (100 with doctoral degrees). Scientific production of the Institute includes more than 10,000 results, of which 1,248 varieties and hybrids of various agricultural plant species are officially recognized in our country, while 1,099 have been registered worldwide. In addition to varieties and hybrids, the Institute can also be proud of numerous domestic and international scientific projects, a large number of books, monographs and scientific papers published and quoted in domestic and world prestigious scientific publishing houses and journals, organizing a large number of scientific and professional conferences, the highest state awards and recognitions, as well as many other achievements. It is therefore difficult to list all the successes of people who have worked and work at the Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops. And the journey that led to these successes was even more difficult. But experts who work and create at the Institute have never been afraid of difficulties. On the contrary, for them, they were challenges to which they responded with hard work, patience and perseverance. Being engaged in scientific work is actually a walk along the path covered questions and seeking answers. And that is the meaning of our work. The answers we find are expressed as top achievements and great successes.
The Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops is well-known throughout the world. From Argentina and Canada, across Europe, Africa, to India, China and Japan, our cultivars are being planted, our scientific papers read, our science workers received. Whether it is about fundamental or applied research, plant or land, international project, specialization, or commercial cooperation, our scientists are dealing with current issues, applying the cutting edge scientific methods, and producing the highest quality varieties and hybrids that can meet every requirement and every need.


The Institute is also a scientific institution of national significance and operates in a commercial market, has its production, its brands. How do you combine and balance these two dimensions of your work?
Exactly this unity of these two aspects holds the strength of the Institute. The task of the Institute’s scientific and research work is to introduce new knowledge into the field and vegetable crop production, to follow the global trends of science development and to transfer the acquired experience to practice. For 80 years of its existence, the Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops has made a huge contribution to the development of agriculture in our country and abroad, which is best illustrated by the data on the presence of our varieties and hybrids in food production. Thanks to the results of the scientific and research work of the Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, our country has had food security in the most difficult times, which was recognized by the Government of Serbia and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development. As the result, in 2018, the Institute acquired the status of an institution of special national significance for the Republic of Serbia.

What are the strategic choices of the Institute in the times ahead?
The main feature of the contemporary world is the process of globalization, which is characterized by capital aggregation and hunger for new resources. In the field of agricultural production, this is reflected in the entering in our market of the world’s biggest players, especially in the field of seed production. In this ruthless game, where global seed companies are investing more into development on a daily basis than our Institute annually, we manage to do well against the competition. This is because our seed has been created with knowledge, effort, perseverance, and spite to survive and remain on our land, which is more than arable land. Our seed has been created for our country, our climate, our soul, and that is why it is the best.
This is best illustrated by the fact that the Institute, Novi Sad and Serbia will host two World Conferences in the field of seed production in 2020: the International Sunflower Conference and the International Soybean Conference (held in Europe for the first time). The game was won in the race against countries such as Argentina and Brazil, which is the testimony to the quality of our seed and the extent in which our scientists are recognized in the world. In addition to this, in 2021, our Institute will host the International Roughage Conference.
If we looked at this in sports terms, it is like the three Olympic Games are organized in one country, two of which in the same year. That says a lot about us and our quality.
Our strategy is marked by the desire to be the dominant seed institution in the region and a significant one in Europe and the world. Also, we are working hard on creating new varieties and hybrids that can successfully respond to the challenges of climate change and the growing need for food in the world.


It seems that there are many unresolved issues in the development and production of seed products: from unfair competition and piracy to ”obstruction with an invisible hand”. What are your experiences and how do you deal with that?
We all know that healthy competition is beneficial to development and innovation. However, unfair competition is a very different story. The process of conquering a new market is often accompanied the dumping of the price of the product that is to be marketed. The philosophy of global players is to use price dumping to create unfair competition and so exhausts the local producer, as they have secured appropriate funds to fund such venture. ?.. When they shut down the competitor, they raise the price above normal for this type of product because they no longer have the competition. In that way they compensate for the funds invested in eliminating the competitor. And that is the beginning of the period of dependence on the will and the immediate goals of foreign companies.
When it comes to seed production, this is particularly sensitive because it concerns food security of the country. We have survived the difficult moments that we had under the sanctions of the 1990s thanks to our country and our seed. If we had not had our seed, the land would have been useless and we would have been hungry.
That is why we are particularly grateful to the Government of Serbia, which, at the proposal of the competent ministry, has granted our Institute the status of a scientific institution of national significance, thus contributing to the food security of our people.

The Institute has long been selling its products in the local and foreign markets. What is the situation like today?
Seed production has one of the leading roles in the development and functioning of a country’s agriculture. The Institute for Field and Vegetable Crops in Novi Sad is our oldest and largest institution in seed production, in science and in practice. From the very establishment of the Agricultural Experimental and Control Station in 1938, the work has started on organized grain crop production. Today, under its direct control, the Institute produces pre-basic and basic seed of its varieties, providing sufficient quantities of seeds of high quality and yielding. This is documented by the example of the mentioned small grain crops, where the selection of ”NS seed” in this area is present in more than 70 percent.
In the early 1980s, soy was experiencing a true expansion in our country, and the scientific workers of our Soybean Department had an important role in this. In order to provide a sufficient quantity of seed of all categories, as well as diversity in variety, since 2004, the Institute has taken over control of the production and processing of all categories of seed of NS soy varieties. Thanks to this venture, the Institute has the leading role in meeting the needs and demands of the domestic market for soybean seed, and is also very important in export to the European and global markets.


The activities on the production of hybrid corn seed at the Institute started in 1964. The total quantity of the produced NS corn hybrid seed varies depending on the condition of yielding, but, with the hybrids of good biological potential and proper cultivation technology, every year the Institute produces enough seeds for the needs of the domestic market, as well as for export. In recent years, demand for NS hybrids has increased significantly in the foreign market.
In the early 1970s, Russian sunflower seeds were grown, and basic seed was produced in the Institute. However, 1977 can be regarded as the year of successful seed production, because our own hybrids were introduced into the production, which contributed to the significant economic strengthening and positioning of the Institute. After recognition in our country, sunflower hybrids expanded rapidly in Hungary, Bulgaria and Italy, and today the surfaces under Novi Sad hybrids also grow in Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and France In 2004, the Institute was the first in Europe to register the Clearfield Hybrid Rimisol. High and stable yield of NS sunflower hybrid, as well as high resistance to dominant diseases, resulted in the growth in export of hybrid seed in recent years, primarily in the Russian market, but also the markets of Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.

Your institute also produces roughage, vegetable, flower, medicinal and aromatic herb seeds...?
Significant production and placement of roughage seeds dates back to the 1980s. The placement of roughage grew year after year, and the Institute has positioned itself as the largest seed producer in the domestic market. In addition to the domestic market, there is a great demand for NS selections abroad, which is confirmed by large amounts of roughage seeds placed in Ukraine, Belarus, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Institute also contributes significantly to the successful production of vegetable seeds. It provides seed producers with seeds for 0 vegetable varieties and 11 species of flowers, including about 100 varieties of vegetable hybrids. Part of vegetable seed production is exported, and the growth in exports is especially evident after 1995. With top quality seed, quality processing and complete control over seed production, the demand for NS vegetable varieties has increased in our country and beyond, as confirmed by the fact that vegetable seeds are exported to eight countries.
The specificity of the Department for Alternative Cultures is in a large number of plant species, some of which have ceased to be produced, such as hops, and some new ones have been introduced into production. The varieties of medicinal and plants aromatic plants and herbs used for seed production are the top quality, high-yielding material with high content of medicinal substances. High quality reproductive material is distributed to manufacturers throughout the country, many of which started their production for the first time with seeds produced at the Institute. Following the global trends, in this Department the Institute has begun the production of seeds of some plant species in conditions of organic production, so that organic seeds of NS selection of wheat, soybeans, buckwheat, vegetables and medicinal herbs re also in the market.


What is the position of the Institute about the use of genetically modified seed materials? Do you have such products and what are your practical experiences with this?
Serbia has very favorable natural conditions for diverse agricultural production, experienced producers, top experts and scientists who have developed optimal technologies based on traditional methods and procedures. The Institute for Field and Vegetable Crops is a scientific institution that, during 80 years of its existence, has achieved significant successes in the field of enrichment of agricultural plants (over 1,000 new varieties), which, according to yielding and quality, are among the leading in the world. The Institute uses conventional methods of enrichment in the process of creating new varieties and hybrids of farm crops, vegetables and medicinal herbs. The seed of soybean, corn and other plant species, which are produced at the Institute, are tested in the Laboratory for the presence of genetic modification, so that in the international traffic it would be accompanied by appropriate certificate that it is GMO free. A genetically modified living organism, as well as a product of a genetically modified organism, cannot be placed in the market or grown commercially in the territory of the Republic of Serbia. Seed and reproductive material are not considered genetically modified organisms if they contain up to 0.1 percent of impurities of genetically modified organisms and impurities originating from genetically modified organisms. In the case of experiments, demonstration trials and the development of new varieties, the application will be reviewed by the Expert Council on Biosafety, and they will forward to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management an expert opinion on genetically modified plant species. The procedure for issuing approvals for use in closed systems and for deliberate introduction into the environment is initiated based on the application of the creator, user or their authorized representative in the Republic of Serbia. Based on the opinion of the Expert Council, and taking into account the relevant public objections, as well as the report of the authorized laboratory, the Minister will make a decision to approve the use in closed systems, deliberate introduction into the environment, and will determine the safety measures and the term of validity of the approval.


You work in an area in which experts are not produced either quickly or easily. In addition, we are faced with a great crisis of quality and solidity in higher education, as well as with enormous outflow of our best experts to foreign countries. Is all this reflected on the work and results of the Institute? What is your cooperation with universities and are you satisfied with the quality of the young experts coming from them?
Great attention has always been given to expansion of the results of scientific research at the Institute, and consequently to teaching. The teaching activity of the Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops was initially related to the establishment of the Faculty of Agriculture in Novi Sad (1954) ‒ but also to other faculties in the country. As an already established scientific research organization, the Institute is actively involved in performing tasks that have been set in a number of universities in the country and abroad. Our scientists participate in teaching at universities, as well as in committees for assessment and defense of graduate, specialist, Master, and doctoral theses. They conduct practical training for students. They provide conditions for performing experimental work as part of graduate, specialist, Master and doctoral theses. They organize international specialist courses for students from a large number of countries.
The Institute pays great attention to the selection of new associates, future researchers and scientists. In order to ensure continuity in scientific research in all areas of the Institute, and to introduce the new employees into the activity of the Institute in a timely manner, the best, hardworking alumni of the university eager for new knowledge and results are carefully selected.

In what direction will the short-term and mid-term development of the Institute be directed? How would you like to see it in five or ten years?
The development and improvement of the Institute’s scientific potential is a basic task of the management, and in this sense we are working on the construction of new laboratories, a gene bank and cold chambers.
Preparation of project documentation and applying for part of the funds necessary for the construction of these facilities and purchase of necessary equipment are in progress. This is a condition for the survival of the Institute in this time and environment. Also, we are working on conquering new technologies in the process of enrichment of plant species, as well as technologies the application of which would facilitate the functioning of the auxiliary processes necessary for operation. Since the Institute is a predominantly self-financing institution, because over 96% of funds are provided in a market that is very demanding and deformed by various phenomena, part of the funds for development must be provided from other sources, such as development funds and scientific projects. Our attention is focused in that direction, as well as the desire to create top-notch scientific basis for the time to come and thus to strengthen the Institute in the leading place in the field of biotechnology.
In 10 years, I want the Institute to be in the field of agronomy what NASA is in the field of space research.


From now on you
can buy National Review at Trafika sales outlets

Србија - национална ревија - број 82 - руски

Србија - национална ревија - број 82 - руски

Србија - национална ревија - број 81 - руски

Србија - национална ревија - број 80 - руски

Србија - национална ревија - број 79 - руски

Србија - национална ревија - број 78 - руски

Serbia - National Review - Tourism 2020

Србија - национална ревија - Број 77

Србија - национална ревија - Број 76

Србија - национална ревија - Број 75
Србија - национална ревија - ФранкфуртСрбија - национална ревија - МоскваСрбија - национална ревија - Москва
Србија - национална ревија - ПекингСрбија - национална ревија - број 74
Србија - национална ревија - број 73

Србија - национална ревија - број 72Туризам 2019.
Србија - национална ревија - број 71
Србија - национална ревија - број 70Србија - национална ревија - број 69Србија - национална ревија - број 68Србија - национална ревија - број 67Tourism 2018
Србија - национална ревија - број 66
Serbia - National Review - No 65
Serbia - National Review - No 64Србија - национална ревија - број 63
Србија - национална ревија - број 62
Србија - национална ревија - број 61

Србија - национална ревија - број 60
Србија - национална ревија - број 59
Serbia - National Review - No 59
Serbia - National Review - No 58

Serbia - National Review - No 56
Serbia - National Review - No 55
Serbia - National Review - No 54
Tourism 2016
Српска - национална ревија - број 53
Српска - национална ревија - број 12-13
Srpska - National Review - No 12-13
Serbia - National Review - No 51

Serbia - National Review - No 49
Serbia - National Review - No 49
Serbia - National Review - No 48
Serbia - National Review - No 46
Serbia - National Review - No 46
Serbia - National Review - No 46Serbia - National Review - No 46, russianSerbia - National Review - No 45Srpska - No 6
SRPSKA - National Review - No 5Tourism 2014SRPSKA - No 2
Tourism 2013
SRPSKA - National Review - Special Edition

Battle above Centuries
Legends of Belgrade
History of the Heart


Чувар светих хумки
Србија од злата јабука - друго издање
Orthodox Reminder for 2013
Пирот - Капија Истока и Запада
Беочин - У загрљају Дунава и Фрушке Горе
Србија, друмовима, пругама, рекама
Србија од злата јабука
Туристичка библија Србије

Коридор X - Европски путеви културе
Београд у џепу
Тло Србије, Завичај римских царева
Добродошли у Србију