THE DEVELOPMENT AND PRESENT CONDITION OF THE PLANT BREEDING SECTOR IN POLAND AND OTHER COUNTRIES
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In the second half of the 20th century efforts were launched in various countries of the world that led to the creation of the foundations of an organisational system referred to as the 'seed industry', which groups plant breeding and seed producing firms, as well as institutions responsible for the correct functioning of the sector. Progressing globalisation has resulted in the intensification of concentration processes in the seed industry. At present, the world production of seeds is dominated by several firms which operate on the global scale as producers not only seeds but also chemicals for agriculture, and medicines and biotechnological products. Simultaneously, the process of the state's withdrawal from supporting the practical plant breeding has started. Also observable is the growing role of self-government organisations grouping plant growers and producers of seeds, which begin to replace the state in the decision-making processes relating to the seed industry. Since the early 1990s the plant breeding sector in Poland has received assistance amounting to PLN 0.5 billion, for the restructuring of the existing companies. Despite that assistance the share of certified seeds in the total amount of grain used for sowing has decreased to 6% and the share of certified seed-potatoes has slumped to 3%. The export of Polish seeds is far lower than the export of seeds from the Czech Republic or Slovakia. Simultaneously, foreign firms are intensifying their expansion onto to the Polish market. The area of seed plantations of foreign varieties of spring barley is already larger than that of the seed plantations of Polish varieties of barley, whereas the area of seed plantations of foreign varieties of winter wheat is now only slightly smaller than the area of plantations supplying Polish varieties of seeds. Subsidies to plant breeding will be liquidated in 2007. Therefore, there is an urgent need to spin off the plant breeding entities from the existing companies and start ownership transformations using capital provided by foreign investors and/or by the employees-shareholders of the spin off entities.
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