Global Partnership Initiative for Plant Breeding Capacity Building (test)

Plant breeding programs in Bulgaria

Geographical situation of BulgariaAgricultural land accounts for about 6.2 million hectares (55% of the country area) due to the relatively favourable climate and soil conditions of Bulgaria. The agricultural sector is very important in the economy of this country. The major food crops are wheat, corn, barley and sunflower.

Bulgaria has a rich experience and long tradition in plant breeding, with successful programs leading to important contributions for agriculture. Recently, as a result of the transition period and establishment of a market-based economy, there was a collapse in many spheres that effected directly or indirectly plant breeding research and activities. Plant breeding in Bulgaria is carried out by about twenty public organizations (including research institutes, Regional Centers for Extension Services, and universities) and several small private companies. Due to its geographical profile, Bulgaria is relatively rich in germplasm and these genetic resources are stored in its National Seed Genebank (NSGB).

The major areas of activities are: germplasm enhancement, line development and line evaluation. Line development has major importance for wheat, maize, oilseeds, grain legumes and tobacco. These are also the crops with greatest economic value for the country.

The lack of financial resources is the major limiting aspect for the development of plant breeding programmes in Bulgaria. It is followed by the lack of support from the international community and inadequate knowledge about plant breeding.

Research and education institutes with activities in plant breeding

Public Institutes

The Agricultural Academy
Website available in Bulgarian

is the coordinator of research activity in agriculture. Most of the research institutions where is carried out plant breeding, for different crops, vegetables, fruits and viticulture, fodder crops... are involved in the system of the Academy.

Bulgarian Seed Gene Bank

Institute for Plant Genetic Resources "K.Malkov" (IPGR)
Website available in English

Plant Genetic Resources Program in Bulgaria, is a part of the National Strategy for biodiversity protection. As a national coordinator in this program PGRI- Sadovo offers to the Bulgarian partners abilities for free germplasm exchange, registration and free ex situ storage of plant accessions (wild and local forms, breeding lines and cultivars).

Institute of Genetics Korstoff

Institute of Genetics “Acad. Doncho Kostoff”
Website available in Bulgarian and English

The "Acad. Doncho Kostoff" Institute of Genetics at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) derives from the Central Agricultural Research Institute founded in 1910. During 1939-1949 it was headed by the eminent Bulgarian scientist Acad. Doncho Kostoff.

Agro Bio Institute

AgroBioInstitute (ABI)
Website available in Bulgarian and English

ABI was founded in 2000 by joining three institutes. It is the leading biotechnology research center in the system of the National research for Agricultural Sciences at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. It is a Center of Excellence in biotechnology for the European Community.

Karnobat Institute

Institute of Agriculture Karnobat
Website available in Bulgarian and English

The research activity of the Institue has been guided by two basic directions: 1. Breeding of new more productive wheat varieties and other field crops, typical of the region, resistant to unfavorable meteorological influences – dry winds, low temperatures, draught. 2. Discovery and establishment of practical methods of improving the cultivation technology of wheat and other crops, which aims at increasing the yield. Today, 21 researchers are working at the Institute.

Dobruja Institute

Dobrudja Agricultural Institute
Website available in Bulgarian

Private Institute

Geosem select

GEOSEM select
Website available in English and Bulgarian

Private institution, GEOSEM select is a leading company in selection and production of hybrid tomato seeds and planting material, as well as seed from the most popular vegetable cultures. It is one of the first Bulgarian private companies in the area of agriculture.


Information by Dr. Georgina Kosturkova (2006) - Information based on the Bulgaria's full report from the PBBC survey. Last revised 10-03-2010, Siyka Stoyanova and GIPB