According to the decision of the Ministry of Agriculture of the former Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops, Novi Sad was established in 1938 and began operating as an Agricultural Experimental and Control Station. The Station was located in the building constructed in 1938, where the Institute Head Office has remained to this day.
In 1938, after installment of electricity, telephones and heating, the building in 26, Cara Nikolaja Street in Novi Sad (today 30, Maksima Gorkog Street) was officially ready for use. According to the letter of the Royal Provincial Government Auditing Committee dated October 18, 1938, Agricultural Experimental and Control Station in Novi Sad was granted the use and management of the building.
Over the course of 80 years, status and organization of the Institute changed according to the surrounding social environment, so to this day, Agricultural Experimental and Control Station
(1938–1941) has had different names and founders. Until 1941, which marked the start of World War II, the Institute was under the authority of the Ministry of Agriculture of former Kingdom of Yugoslavia. During occupation, the area of Bačka became a part of Hungary, and the Agricultural Station became a department of the Agricultural Institute in Szeged. In May 1946, the Agricultural Station became the Provincial Institute for Agricultural Research
according to the decision of Presidency of the Executive Council of AP Vojvodina. The Institute was state-run and state-funded like any other public body, but not long after, it gained the self-management status and became the Institute for Agricultural Research
in 1954. By regulation of Executive Council of the Republic of Serbia, Institution for Agricultural Research was reorganized with a new name – the Institute of Field Crops
. After organization changes of the Republic of Serbia, the decision made by the Executive Council of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia transferred the founding rights and responsibilities to AP Vojvodina in 1961, and designated the Institute as Institute for Agricultural Research
. In 1975, political structures in AP Vojvodina initiated the process of integrating all agriculture and forestry research institutions from the Novi Sad area into the Faculty of Agriculture in Novi Sad; thereafter the Institute for Agricultural Research seized to be an independent research institution. In 1976, the Institute was renamed OOUR Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops
i.e. OOUR Research and Educational Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops
from 1986 to 1994, when the government of Republic of Serbia gave their consent to the separation of OOUR Research and Educational Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops
from the Faculty of Agriculture Novi Sad and took over the founding rights over the Institute. In 1995, Institute’s name was changed into the Scientific Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops.
During 2006, the Institute was accredited as a research and development institution, while in 2007 it received its present name – The Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops
. In May 2018, the Institute became the National Institute of the Republic of Serbia, thanks to hard work and valuable results implemented into agricultural practices during the 80 years of work which brought the Institute international scientific recognition.
The main activity of the Institute is basic and applied research, aimed at development of cultivars and hybrids of field and vegetable crops, forage and industrial crops, medicinal plants, and spices. Institute’s fundamental activity has been divided among eight departments, two laboratories and two service-providing units.
Small Grains Department
Rapeseed and Other Industrial Crops Department
Forage Crops Department
Vegetable Crops Department
Department of Alternative Crops and Organic Production
Laboratory for Seed Testing
Laboratory for Soil and Agroecology
The Institute conducts research in biotechnology, genetics and breeding, seed production, microbiology, physiology, biochemistry, agrochemistry, soil amelioration, phytopathology, entomology, phytopharmacy, toxicology, and so on.
The Institute was certified for the implementation of standards ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 by the German certification body TÜV SÜD. External control is performed annually to inspect compliance and functioning of both systems. The Institute pioneered the implementation of international standards and has maintained them for 15 years. In addition, two laboratories (Laboratory for Seed Testing and Laboratory for Soil and Agroecology) have complied with the standard ISO 17025 and received accreditation from АТS – Accreditation Body of Serbia, and ISTA – International Seed Testing Association (ISTA certificate was issued to the Laboratory for Seed Testing).
The Institute of Field and Vegetable Crops employs a formidable team of more than 100 researchers
, 90 of whom have a PhD degree. The researchers are assisted by 300 specialists of various profiles, and their joint efforts guarantee high quality of everything that the Institute offers – seed, technology, training, and services.
As a state-owned institution under the authority of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia, the Institute conducts numerous research projects
supported by the state and participates in various international projects. The Institute participated in or coordinated more than 170 national and 80 international projects. Results of the projects contribute to the global pool of scientific knowledge and improve field and vegetable crop production both in national and global terms.
Since its establishment, the Institute has devoted special attention to plant breeding, became the leading plant breeder in the country and gained international reputation. In the course of 80 years, Institute breeders have developed over 1200 cultivars and hybrids, more than 1000 of which have been registered and grown abroad. An impressive list of 50 plant species and over 1200 developed cultivars and hybrids illustrate the success of Institute’s breeding programs. Institute’s cultivars and hybrids are registered and grown in more than 30 countries, including Russia, Iran, Argentina, France, England, India, Kazakhstan, Germany, China, Moldova, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Greece, Canada, Morocco, and so forth.
Breeding programs are focused on the development of high-yielding, top-quality crops, resistant to abiotic and biotic stresses, as well as cultivars and hybrids intended for special purposes. Besides breeding, the Institute also develops the technology of growing its own assortment. The results are disseminated and transferred into practice through seed, soil tillage technology, growing technology of cultivars and hybrids, as well as their protection from diseases, pests and weeds.
The Institute also publishes
research journals, books, monographs, technical papers, study books, and practicum handbooks. Institute research production encompasses more than 10,000 results. Research papers published in numerous national and international journals provide increased visibility of the Institute. The Institute publishes two national journals: “Ratarstvo i povrtarstvo
” (Journal on field and vegetable crops research) and “Bilten za alternative biljne vrste” (Bulletin of alternative plant species), co-publishes the international journal “Genetika” (Genetics), national journal “Selekcija i semenarstvo” (Plant Breeding and Seed Production), and sponsors the international journal Legume Perspectives
The Seminar of Serbian Agronomists organized by the Institute (today the Conference of Agronomists and Farmers of Serbia) is a form of collaboration between research and practice of field and vegetable crop experts, and dissemination of research results. Since 1967 it has been organized as an annual event every winter, providing permanent innovation and improvement of agricultural knowledge to producers, agricultural stations and services, as well as research and educational institutions. Seminars lasted between 5 and 12 days, exceeding 1,350 participants in some years. Over 35,000 people participated in 52 seminars held to this day.
Due to intensive development of science and technology in the 20th century, companies need to maintain international cooperation to be called successful. The Institute has had different forms of international scientific, educational and business collaboration, signing memorandums of understanding with various institutions from China, Thailand, Russia, Ecuador, Bulgaria, USA, Kazakhstan, and Iran; agreements on scientific and technical collaboration were signed with institutions from China, Russia, Hungary, Israel, and Belarus; different research training programs and postdoctoral studies in the leading institutes all over the world, and membership of researchers in international research and technical organizations.
Constant advancements in seed production required the construction of a modern and well-equipped seed processing centre with sufficient capacity. Being the regional leader in seed production, the Institute should take full control over seed processing, an important and, according to some, the vital element of seed production. Construction of the processing centre facilitated the production of high-quality seeds and timely processing, two of the Institute’s most advantageous traits on the seed market.
The Institute was presented with numerous awards for accomplishments and contributions in agriculture, education, international cooperation and local economy, such as Award of Liberation of Vojvodina (1972), AVNOJ Award (1979), October Award of the city of Novi Sad (1979), and Sretenje Order, awarded by a decree of the President of the Republic of Serbia for special merits, international recognition of research results, and improvement of agriculture (2015).