Genetic resource of agricultural crops

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

Collecting, researching and storing genetic resources
is necessary to ensure intra-species variability and the preservation of important properties of the retained material.

Let us know about the old native varieties of fruit trees, berry trees, vegetables and other species growing in your home garden!
   (Click here to open the information form)


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 research and applied research and development in the field of 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.

The Polli Horticultural Research Centre of the Institute of Agriculture and environment of the Estonian University of Life Sciences is conducting research on fruiting, breeding of plants and preservation of 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 aim of the University of Tartu Botanical Garden is to preserve and collect the genetic diversity of Estonian ornamental plants.
In cooperation with the Institute of Pharmacy of the University of Tartu, species diversity of aromatic and medicinal plants is preserved and studied.

            Our activities:

  • Collection and preservation of varieties and breeding of ornamental plants of Estonian origin.
  • Preservation of medicinal and aromatic plant species in ex situ collections and their study in collaboration with the UT Institute of Pharmacy.
  • Phenotypic characterisation of varieties and assessment of disease resistance.
  • Coordination of cooperation between plant breeders and holders of private collections, inventarisation of private collections.
  • Evaluation and characterisation of new promising varieties and dissemination.
  • Presentation and promotion of local varieties.


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.

The activities of the Ministry of Regional Affairs and Agriculture aim to create the conditions for the sustainable and comprehensive development of the Estonian rural, agricultural and fisheries economy, to ensure safe and proper feed, good animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection.

The Ministry will coordinate the programme for the collection and conservation of agro-crop genetic resources in 2021-2027.

The programme creates preconditions for the collection, conservation and use of genetic resources of local origin of agricultural crops

The programme contributes to the achievement of the objectives of the "Agriculture and Fisheries Development Plan 2030".

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