b'The Bridge fromBreeders to FarmersINTRODUCING AGRICULTURE AND THE SEED INDUSTRY OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA.A griculture is a very significant branch of the Serbianand are accessible to farmers. The area under seed production economy, contributing about 19% to the Gross Nationalis about 43-45,000 ha and the quantity of certified seed of the Product. Serbia has 6,246,000 ha of agricultural land,main field crops (winter wheat, maize, soybean and sunflower) out of which 3,321,000 ha is arable land used for cereals (66%),amounts to 121,000 tons.industrial crops (14%), vegetables (12%), horticulture (0.05%),The Republic of Serbia must perceive the value of seed pro-and the rest is fallow-uncultivated land (4%). Maize is the mostduction and the significant gain from seed export, and also must important cereal, followed by winter wheat. Other importantrecognize the volume of money flow and profitability of the seed crops are barley, soybean, sunflower, and alfalfa. The Republicbusiness. The Seed Association of Serbia and all its members are of Serbia has favourable environmental conditions for the devel- willing to create a favourable environment for breeding, high opment of agricultural production. Quality soil, water resourcesquality seed production and strengthening the competitiveness and unpolluted environment provide the opportunity to developof Serbia in the international market, with substantial prosperity organic farming and agro-tourism. In the Republic of Serbia therein agriculture and the seed business, and with a legislation that are 800,000 families engaged in agriculture, and for half of themis harmonized with the EU. agricultural production is their primary activity. Agricultural products make up 50% of the total exports of Serbia. Therefore,THE SEED ASSOCIATION OF SERBIAit is a clear goal of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry andThe foundation of the Seed Association of Serbia (SAS) marks Water Management, of the Government of the Republic of Serbia,the beginning of the organized seed sector in the Republic of as well as the Seed Association of Serbia to improve the devel- Serbia. Nineteen years ago, in 2001, the initiative on the need for opment of this sector, which is one of the pillars of the economy. a well-organized seed sector in Serbia commenced, encompass-The seed sector plays a major role in agricultural perfor- ing seed production and legislation that covers this production mance and development. Additionally, the Republic of Serbiaand education of all participants in the seed supply chain. The has experienced producers, top experts and scientists, as wellmain idea was to maintain and improve the competitiveness as long tradition in breeding and seed production. Support to theof Serbian seed in national and international markets, and to agriculture sector is provided by a significant number of scien- provide profitability and attractiveness of the seed production. tific and research institutions engaged in fundamental science,SAS was accepted as a full member of the International Seed breeding and seed production of various plant species. More thanFederation (ISF) in 2002 and the European Seed Association 3,000 varieties of different plant species have been recognized(ESA) in 2006 and presided over the Eastern European Seed 50IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'