EP gives strong signal to strengthen Europe's plant breeding capacity
Today, the European Parliament voted in Plenary on an own-initiative report on ‘Plant breeding: what options to increase quality and yields”, put forward by MEP Marit Paulsen.
ESA welcomes MEP Paulsen’s initiative and the attention the Parliament is giving to this very strategic sector for Europe, as well as the opportunity of starting an informed and constructive debate on the value and role of plant breeding in modern societies.
“Without an effective and competitive plant breeding sector, we seriously reduce our options to respond to agricultural and societal demands”, comments Garlich v. Essen, Secretary General of ESA.
This Report clearly shows that Europe needs to build on its competitive advantage and continue to invest in research, development and the use of new plant breeding techniques, and to provide support to long-term partnerships between government, industry and research organisations to stimulate innovation.
"We are working very hard with EU farmers and the public research sector within the European Technology Platform 'Plants for the Future' to develop a Research, Innovation and Education Action Plan. We look forward to putting these forward later this year", v. Essen adds.
ESA specifically welcomes the very forward-looking recommendation to the European Commission to develop an overall policy strategy on agricultural inputs, especially in relation to plant breeding.
"We look forward to taking up some of the recommendations contained in the Report and continuing this debate with the European Parliament in order to achieve a policy framework that enables Europe’s breeders, seed producers and farmers to contribute to food security for Europe’s 500 million consumers and a growing world population", v. Essen expressed after the vote in plenary. "We very much appreciate the broad support for this Report, sending a strong signal from Parliament to the European Commission and Council that plant breeding is the key science for the future of agriculture in Europe."