Plant breeding is the starting point of the agricultural and horticultural value chain: it lays the basis for healthy food, a high quality of life and our future energy supply. It is the breeders' objective to provide optimized varieties and premium seeds which are best suited to meet tomorrow's challenges, such as climate change or food security for a growing population.
German plant breeding is characterized by a high degree of flexibility and innovation. From nearly 100 companies breeding agricultural crops, approximately half stage breeding projects in Germany itself while the others are involved in variety distribution. A further 20 companies specialise in horticultural breeding, developing vegetables and ornamental plants, with a further 20 seed traders, brokers and service companies committed to improved seed marketing.
Considerable investment into research and development has produced a high degree of productive efficiency. An R&D budget of 16.3 % of turnover qualifies German plant breeding as high-end technology – higher than even the pharmaceutical or chemical industries.
Key figures for German plant breeding:
- approx. 130 plant breeding and seed trading members
- 58 companies with original breeding programs
- about 5,800 employees
- 3,100 ha breeding nurseries