On 19 March 2019, an international conference "Joint efforts for conservation and use of plant genetic resources in Belarus" was held in Minsk under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This event was held within the final seminar on the implementation of the FAO project in the Republic of Belarus to strengthen the relevant State program. The project is aimed to enhance the conservation and use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in Belarus to ensure the sustainable agricultural development. The forum was organized by FAO regional office for Europe and Central Asia, the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of Belarus, the Scientific and Production Center of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus for Agriculture.
Speaking at the opening of the forum, Academician Vladimir Gusakov, Chairman of the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, said: “There is no doubt about the importance of the conservation and use of genetic resources when creating new varieties of agricultural plants. The solution to this problem is directly related to the food and economic security of the country. Today, the National Collection of Plant Genetic Resources of the Republic of Belarus has more than 70 thousand samples. More than 380 new varieties of agricultural crops for various purposes were derived on its basis. This is 8 times more than it was before the Declaration of sovereignty of the Republic of Belarus."
As noted at the conference, because of the successful implementation of the project of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) “Strengthening the State Program on Plant Genetic Resources in Belarus”, a National Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Plant Genetic Resources in the Republic of Belarus for 2020-2035 was developed. Besides, the work on accession of the Republic of Belarus to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources has begun, a collective monograph "Plant Genetic Resources of Belarus: mobilization, conservation, study and use" has been prepared for publication. Work will also continue on the exchange of plant gene pool within the European Cooperative Program on Plant Genetic Resources in the AEGIS system.