Global Partnership Initiative for Plant Breeding Capacity Building (test)

Plant breeding programs in Turkey

The Republic of Turkey is a Eurasian country. Thanks to diverse environmental conditions (climate, topography and soil), Turkey enjoys a large crop genetic diversificationTurkey_Map which has contributed to an improved agriculture from the beginning of its history. The 24 million hectares of land under agriculture are mainly represented by wheat, barley, maize, rice, chickpeas and lentils.

Agricultural research (and plant breeding) was initiated in Turkey in the 1920s, immediately after the foundation of Turkish Republic, in order to face the urgent need for food in the country at that time. Today plant breeding activities in Turkey are essentially carried out by public institutes which all are under the auspices of the General Directorate of Agricultural Research (GDAR). Large diversity characterizes Turkey’s plant genetic base, which has become a point of interest for scientists working internationally in plant germplasm.

Turkey has a long tradition of plant breeding and utilisation of plant genetic resources, which has resulted in many improved modern varieties. The trend, in terms of breeding activities, is on germplasm enhancement for wheat, barley, and food legumes. Concerning maize, soybean, and forages line evaluation has kept its importance.

The most limiting factors for the success of the plant breeding programmes are lack of financial resources and lack of breeders for any given crops except for some such as wheat and barley. Training and education of young scientists in Turkey and abroad should be encouraged.

As a candidate country for EU, Turkey follows those regulations.

Research and education institutes with activities in plant breeding

Public Institutes


General Directorate of Agricultural Research (GDAR)
Website available in English or Turkish

The DGAR is an institute which belongs to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. It aims to improve the productivity and quality of agricultural products through research in order to enhance farmers’ incomes. (Links toward the website of the different institutes are available in the GDAR’s website).

Private Institutes


Pioneer, Turkey
Website available in English or Turkish

IBET is a private non-profit biotechnology research organization created with the specific purpose of being an interface between research and production activities. At present IBET is carrying on research in rice breeding (biotic and abiotic stresses), almond tree (molecular characterization of Portuguese varieties, studies concerning tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses). IBET is also working on molecular characterization of Portuguese varieties of grapevine, olive tree, forages and maize.


Information by Dr. Nurset Zencirci (2006). - Information based on the Turkey's full report from the PBBC survey. Last revised 24-06-2010, GIPB.