Plant genetic resources for food and agriculture


Advanced varieties, breeding material and local varieties of agricultural crops are a valuable genetic resource that enriches the diversity of flora.

The collection, study and conservation of genetic resources is necessary to ensure intra-species variability and for preservation of the essential characteristics of the stored material.

Let us know about the old, interesting native varieties of fruit trees, berry trees, vegetables and other species growing in your home garden !

                                                    To send information click ORDERS


Collection, preservation and scientific investigation of agricultural crops and making this material freely available.

           Our activities:

  • Long-term preservation of cereals, forage grasses, legumes, oilseed crops and vegetable seeds.
  • Assessment and characterisation of the preserved material.
  • Collection of seeds from natural habitats and home gardens.
  • Providing free access to users (breeders, biologists, agricultural scientists, gene technologists, other gene banks). 


Preservation of vegetatively propagated crops collection in vitro and use of non-transgenic plant biotechnology methods for breeding.

Basic and applied research and development activities in agriculture.

            Our activities:

  • Preservation of the in vitro collection for the virus-free and varietal identity of potato varieties.
  • Horticultural (plum, cherry, sour cherry, pear, strawberry, raspberry, apple) tissue cultures and the preservation of the variety of collection.


Polli Horticultural Research Centre of the Department of Agriculture and Environment of the Estonian University of Life Sciences carries out research and plant breeding of horticultural crops and preserves varieties in the gene bank.
            Our activities:
  • Plant breeding of apples, pears, plum, sweet cherry, black currant and raspberry. 
  • Development of fruit and berry cultivation technology, investigations on plant protection and organic cultivation.
  • Preservation, exploration and utilisation of the fruit and berry varieties of Estonian origin.

The objective of the Botanical Garden of the University of Tartu is to collect and preserve the diversity of the genetic resources of Estonian ornamental plants.

            Our activities:

  • Collection and preservation of varieties and breeding of ornamental plants of Estonian origin.
  • Ex-situ preservation of medicinal and aromatic plants and study of collections in cooperation with the Institute of Pharmacy of the University of Tartu.
  • Phenotypic characterisation of varieties and assessment of disease resistance.
  • Coordination of cooperation between plant breeders and holders of private collections, inventarisation of private collections.
  • Assessment and characterisation of new promising breeding lines.
  • Presentation and promotion of local varieties.

The objective of the Ministry of Rural Affairs is to create the conditions for the sustainable and diversified development of Estonian rural, agricultural and fishing industry, to ensure plant protection, food and feed safety and animal health.

To fulfil its objectives, the Ministry will develop sectoral policies, legislation and requirements, organise their implementation and assess the results.

The programme for the collection and conservation of genetic resources of agricultural crops defines the national objectives and key activities in this domain for the period 2021-2027.


The activities of NGO Maadjas include the preservation of indigenous domestic animals and plants in Estonia, their promotion, protection and demonstration.

Our activities: 

  • Organising training and disseminating information.
  • Organising support and charity campaigns.
  • Establishment and replenishment of the database of the indigenous domestic animals and plants.
  • Mediation of domestic animals, seeds and plants.
  • Joint activities with similar organisations in Estonia and other countries.
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