The Research Institute of Plant Production (RIPP) of the National Agriculture and Food Centre (NAFC) has launched the preparations for the seed storage, Agriculture Minister Gabriela Matečná said on May 26, the world-wide Fascination of Plants Day. Matečná said that more than 400 original Slovak samples will be placed in the World Gene Bank in Spitsbergen, Norway. “It is our goal and also our duty to preserve for the next generations the national wealth of our rare plant seeds,” Matečná said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
Because of its location and bio-diversity, Slovakia has ideal conditions for cultivating high biological variety, and a total of 11,270 species of plant shave been identified.
The Slovak Gene Bank was established to preserve and maintain the diversity of plants. RIPP has been operating it since 1996, operating laboratories and air-conditioned boxes in which seeds are stored. It has a capacity of 50,000 samples of seed species and can hold grains, legumes, oil plants, fodder plants, grasses, vegetables, technical plants and ornamental plants. Old varieties of wheat, oats and legumes which were cultivated in Slovakia between the two World Wars are also in preservation.