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The Government adopted a decision regarding the establishment of the Buzau bank of plant genetic resources for vegetable crops, floriculture, aromatic and medicinal plants, Government spokesman Nelu Barbu announced on Thursday.

"At the proposal of the Ministry of Agriculture, a Government decision was adopted regarding the establishment of the Buzau Bank of plant genetic resources for vegetables, floriculture, aromatic and medicinal plants. It is practically a historic decision in Romania. The creation of such a bank was attempted at some point, in the '80s, it was not completed, and this time we managed to create this plant genetic resource bank, which will basically protect the gene pool in Romania in the mentioned areas. Romania has the largest variety of regional and traditional plants in Europe at present and, not having this bank so far, many seeds were lost over time and our country has become dependent on the import of seeds for a number of plants. It is also a measure expected by all vegetable growers, which will contribute in the long term to ensuring the food security of Romania," Barbu told a press conference at the Victoria Governmental Palace.

He added that this bank of plant genetic resources will have the main object of activity the exploration, inventory, collection, research, development and preservation of the phytogenetic resources and will preserve the plant genetic heritage existing at present at the Vegetable Research Station in Buzau and throughout the country, which includes over 10,000 varieties of vegetables, medicinal herbs and aromatic plants.

"Because we did not have this bank, at one point we became dependent on the import of seeds and Romania is currently spending large sums of money to buy the genetic material through imports, material which is not always adapted to the climatic conditions in our country. And there is also the risk of introducing different pests, different diseases, which may affect other varieties in the country. When this bank becomes truly functional, it will be a major contributor to the recovery of the Romanian horticulture by introducing into the culture some indigenous varieties with potential for production and superior quality, it can generate a large number of regional and national development projects. Buzau was chosen to host this bank, taking into account the tradition existing there. It is the oldest vegetable basin in the country, where the Buzau vegetable research and development station has been operating since 1957, as well as the first relevant research unit in Romania," said Nelu Barbu. AGERPRES (RO - author: Dana Piciu, editor: Mihai Simionescu; EN - author: Adina Panaitescu, editor: Rodica State)

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