Date of creation

Azerbaijan Scientific-Research Institute of Crop Husbandry under the Ministry of Agriculture of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Territory of the Azerbaijan Republic is characterized by the existence of all edaphic-climatic zones, prevailing in the world, except for tropical and forest-savanna types. The Republic has rich climatic resources due to favorable physical and geographical conditions.All of this gives acceptable opportunities for cropping here. Azerbaijan is an ancient agricultural land. Location of the country in favorable natural and geographical conditions provided a basis for comprehensive development of agriculture. Archaeological excavations prove that Azerbaijan is the main center of grain farming, viticulture, horticulture and stockbreeding. Development of grain farming and other strategically important sectors of agriculture in the country is the focus of attention. During more than 60 years of existence the Azerbaijan Research Institute of Crop Husbandry played a huge role in ensuring food security of the country and left its lasting mark on history. Methods and attitudes concerning the approach to study have changed over these years, and each generation of scientists improved the scientific heritage of their predecessors, and achieved great success in improving plant varieties and creation of advanced cultivation technologies by performing numerous scientific studies of applied and fundamental nature. Azerbaijan Research Institute of Crop Husbandry was organized on May 20, 1950 in accordance with Decrees of the CM of the USSR № 2117 “On measures to increase the production of wheat and cotton in collective and state farms of the Azerbaijan SSR” and the CM and the Central Committee of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Azerbaijan from June 6, 1950 № 802 “On measures to increase wheat production in collective and state farms of the Azerbaijan SSR” under the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan. The Institute started its activities since October 1950. Azerbaijan Research Institute of Crop Husbandry was placed under the authority of the Ministry of Agriculture of Azerbaijan by the Decree № 253 of the CC of the CPSU and the CM of the USSR from February 14, 1956, the Order №87 of the Ministry of Agriculture of the USSR from March 8, 1956, and the Decree of the CC of the CP of Azerbaijan and the Council of Ministers of the Azerbaijan SSR from April 27, 1956 №222 “On measures to improve the work of research institutions in agriculture”. The Institute was reformed on the basis of the Azerbaijan State Breeding Station (now the Tartar Zonal Experimental Station (ZES)), founded in 1933. In order to increase grain production in the Republic, supplying specialized farms with highly conditioned seeds and improving the performance of seed-growing works, “Elit” NGO was established on the basis of the Institute of Agriculture, based on the Order №263 k of the Ministry of Agriculture of Azerbaijan from August 16, 1993. Since 2000, the Institute of Agriculture is a part of the Agrarian Research Center of the Ministry of Agriculture, established by the Resolution № 190 of the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan Republic on the adaptation of agricultural science and scientific and technology program to new economic relations and reforms carried out in the Republic, removing concurrency and dispersion in this field, developing an integrated strategic objective of the research work, improving the introduction of the obtained results in production from December 16, 1999. To date, 2013, the structure of the Institute of Crop Husbandry includes 3 Divisions (Plant Breeding, Plant Physiology and Biotechnology, Sustainable Agriculture and Diversification of Plants), 4 Laboratories (Grain Quality, Initial Seed Farming and Seed Quality, Disease and Pest Control, Soil and Plant Analyzes), and also the Group for information, implementation and training, Department of Social Sciences and Foreign Languages, library and computer center, 6 experimental farms (Jalilabad ZES; Gobustan ZES; Tartar ZES, Zagatala ZES, Shaki SP and Absheron PEF). The main objective of the Institute since its establishment was staffing with highly qualified personnel and further enhancement of their skills. Providing the Institute with scientific staff was 173 carried out mainly through full-time and part-time postgraduate studies. Training of highly qualified personnel specialized in breeding and seed production, genetics, plant physiology and biochemistry, biophysics, plant protection from pests and diseases, general farming, plant cultivation, etc. was conducted at a full-time postgraduate school of the Institute. On the initiative of Academician Jalal Aliyev since 1972 graduates of the leading higher educational institutions of the country in different fields: biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, agriculture were invited to the Institute for this purpose, they initially were sent for 2-year training, and then for the objective full-time postgraduate studies in the relevant scientific centers of the former Soviet Union. More than 80 young researchers have passed a long-term practical training in scientific centers of the former USSR in the following specialties: biophysics, biochemistry, molecular biology, mathematical modeling of agroecosystems and photosynthetic processes, genetics, molecular genetics, plant physiology, radiobiology, phytopathology, plant immunity to diseases, etc.. 48 specialists were trained in objective full-time postgraduate school during the period from 1972 until 1988. After acquisition of independence, a personnel training is continuing mostly in the Republic and within the framework of cooperation with International Breeding Centers CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center) and ICARDA (International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas). During the period of the Institute’s activities, including the objective full-time postgraduate school, more than 400 highly qualified specialists were trained, including about 255 people who successfully defended their theses, received their PhD degrees, including 79 PhD’s who were trained at the Department of Plant Physiology and Biotechnology in the following fields: “Plant Physiology” - 35, “Biochemistry” - 12, “Biophysics” - 16, “Molecular biology” - 2, “Molecular genetics” - 1, “Bioorganic chemistry” - 2, “Radiobiology” - 4, “Microbiology” - 2, “Mathematical biology” - 5 persons. 7 of the researches employed by the Institute defended their doctoral theses on a basis of the result of their long-term productive research works. Personnel training tradition is successfully continuing at present. So, since 1996, more than 30 young researchers of the Institute passed advanced training courses held in different countries (India, Iran, Mexico, United Arab Emirates (The UAE), Syria, Turkey, etc.), in International Centersç such as CIMMYT, ICARDA, IPGRI (International Plant Genetic Resources Institute), ICRISAT (The International Crops Research Institute for the SemiArid-Tropics) and ICBA (International Center For Biosaline Agriculture) within the framework of cooperation. They mainly focused on improvement of wheat and peanut varieties, rust diseases, creation of databases of plant genetic resources, major pests and diseases of crops, soil protective and resource conservation technologies of cultivation. Highly qualified trained personnel are currently working in various research institutes and higher education institutions of the country, are the responsible officials of state authorities, and are invited and successfully work as highly qualified specialists in the countries such as the USA, Germany, France, Canada, Australia, Great Britian, Japan, China, Sweden etc. as well. Currently 110 scientists are employed by the Institute, including 1 academician, 5 doctors of sciences and 53 PhD’s. Scientists I.J.Rajabli, S.F.Huseynov, V.N.Gromachevsky, K.A.Alekperov, I.S.Safarov, Sh.G.Samedov, R.J.Aleskerzade, S.I.Suleymanov and others who made a huge contribution to agricultural science, worked there during the history of the existence of the Institute. Currently this tradition is continued with dignity by Academician J.A.Aliyev, A.J.Musayev and others. Based on the objectives and tasks, the main scientific and theoretical studies were carried out in the Institute of Crop Husbandry and its Absheron Experimental Station, and research works of scientific and production nature were carried at Zonal Experimental Stations that characterize soil and climatic conditions of main zones of the Republic, in Terter (irrigation), Gobustan (unsupplied highland dryland), Jalilabad (unsupplied lowland dryland), Zagatala (supplied dryland), at Sheki supporting point, in the State Agricultural Production Enterprises and farms. The main direction of the research of the Institute is development and improvement of theoretical basis of breeding and seed farming along with introduction of scientific achievements in fields of 174 genetics, physiology, biochemistry, plant protection and technologies as well as new areas of science - biotechnology, genetic and cellular engineering, mathematical methods and computer technology, creation of database of plant genetic resources, breeding of new high-yielding varieties of crops, legumes possessing immunity, early maturity, resistance to extreme conditions (drought, salinity, etc.), management of initial seed farming and production of elite varieties, development and implementation of technology of cultivation of crops, leguminous plants; improving methods of tillage in the zonal system of agriculture. The Institute is also involved in the major problems of agriculture, corresponding to different edaphic-climatic regions of the Republic: fertility, moisture conservation and maintenance, improvement of tillage systems, development of the most effective methods of cultivation technology for new varieties of crops, leguminous plants; fertilization system, irrigation regime. Research works on breeding and seed growing, phytopathology, entomology, genetics, physiology, biochemistry, biotechnology of soft and durum wheat, barley, maize, chickpeas and lentils are conducted in the Institute within the framework of the programs for wheat, barley, maize, food legumes, sustainable agriculture and diversification of plants. In accordance with the goals and objectives of these programs, scientific activities of the Institute consist of the following: • Creation of new high-yielding, quality, environmentally adaptable plant varieties through hybridization and selection of germplasm from local and introduced varieties. • Increase in resistance of plants to biotic, abiotic stress factors (drought, heat, salinity, winter, diseases, etc.). • Increase in yield capacity and quality of plants in irrigation and dryland agriculture conditions, with the use of modern technologies (integrated pest management, minimum and zero tillage technologies, efficient use of water resources, etc.). • Production of biologically pure, highly conditioned, original, super-elite and elite seeds. • Strengthening of cooperation with advisory centers on introduction of new varieties and technologies and identification of research priorities. Field experiments with more than 20 thousands of samples of crops and legumes are laid out on the area of 65-70 ha for the research at the Institute each year for this purpose. 51.0% of them are accounted for soft wheat, 35% - for durum wheat, 8.0% - for barley, 2.0% - for maize and 4 % - for food legumes (chickpeas, lentils). Varieties created and regionalized in the Republic until 1970 were extensive type and did not provide high yields, resulting in the fact that yield capacity of crops in the Republic did not exceed 0.9-1.2 t/ha. Therefore it was very important to create new high-yielding and quality varieties which fit local environmental conditions of each region. For this purpose first of all it was necessary to develop deeply scientific theoretical and methodological basis for the creation of new productive varieties of intensive type crops. Since 70ies fundamental change was occurred in this field under the leadership and with the direct participation of Academician J.A.Aliyev. A comprehensive, scientifically based complex long-term breeding program was developed first of all. The main objective of this program was to develop a theoretical basis and experimental methods to create more highly productive and quality intensive type crop varieties, complexly resistant to drought, salinity, heat, cold, frost, pests and diseases, as well as to lodging, corresponding to the different agro-ecological regions of the Azerbaijan Republic and meeting the requirements of agricultural production. Experts working in the fields of plant physiology, breeding, genetics, biochemistry, technology, phytopathology and entomology were involved in this work. For this purpose, first of all, the Gene Bank - rich gene pool of wheat, introduced from International Centers CIMMYT, ICARDA and the institutions of the former Soviet countries engaged in wheat breeding was established by morphophysiological and other important characters. This gene pool is used to identify heritability of photosynthetic features, for study of heredity, donor features of genotypes, for appropriate selection on the basis of complex features. In short, as a result of fundamental and applied research carried out by Academician J.A.Aliyev at the end of the previous century in the direction of increasing the yield capacity of intensive low-growing varieties of wheat, 175 a real “Green Revolution”, which received a huge response in the world, occurred in Azerbaijan. Genetic and breeding works were carried out in order to reveal the secrets of photosynthetic activity and to turn it in the desired direction. As a result of deeply scientific complex works conducted in different regions of the Republic practical breeding matters were successfully resolved, 118 various crop varieties which have been submitted to the State Committee on Testing and Protection of Breeding Achievements (SCTPBA) for regionalization were created. 63 of them, including 21 of soft wheat, 15 - durum wheat, 9 - barley, 1 - rye, 1 - oat, 1 - triticale, 4 - maize, 4 - chickpeas, 2 - lentils, 1 - bean, 1 - peanut, and 4 varieties of tobacco were regionalized and included in the State Registry of Breeding Achievements. 90% of created and regionalized varieties of plants are related to the period after the 70ies. Since 1970, these achievements were reached through the preparation and implementation of complex breeding programs fully justified from a scientific point of view under the leadership of Academician Jalal Aliyev. Great attention is paid in the Institute to fundamental research as well. As a result of study of indicators and signs of photosynthetic activity, morphophysiological and agronomical differences, and the real and potential capabilities of wheat genotypes, together with environmental factors, Academician J.Aliyev created tests for “Ideal Wheat” model. Created varieties reflected a range of features: early maturity, resistance to diseases, drought and other stress factors, high quality. They belong to the intense type, are characterized by short height and the evenness of the field. At the same time the effective genes and donors against major diseases of wheat were identified using international classifiers. Genetic certification of wheat varieties involved in breeding by main morphological properties and various qualitative and quantitative features was implemented. Good results were achieved in the creation of durum wheat Garagylchyg-2 Mirbashir-50, Vugar, Shiraslan-23, Tartar, Barakatli-95, Alanja-84 and other intensive type varieties. Yield capacity of these varieties is 7 -9 t/ha, and they occupy 80-85% cultivation areas in the Republic. These varieties gave great results in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan Republics as well. As a result of the research carried out towards the creation of wheat varieties resistant to abiotic stress factors which result from global warming, Barakatli-95 durum wheat variety, Gobustan, Ruzi- 84, Shaki-1 soft wheat varieties, giving the yield in a range of 4.5 - 5.0 tons per hectare in arid dryland conditions, were created. Over the past years as a result of works carried out on wheat breeding in Azerbaijan for irrigation conditions Azamatli-95, Nurlu-99, Tale-38, Aran, Gyrmyzy gul-1 soft wheat varieties, Garabag durum wheat variety the yield of which is more than 8,0 tonnes per hectare, were created. Promising Gunashli, Zirva-80, Yegane, Gyzyl bugda, Fatima, Layagatli-80, Shafaq-2, Mahmud-80, Marhal, Parvin, Farahim varieties of soft wheat, Garabag-33, Gudratli-48, Dayanatli, Sadig varieties of barley are collected in the State Committee for Testing and Protection of Breeding Achievements. Regionalized Garabag-7, Garabag-21, Jalilabad-19, Garabag-22, Baharli barley varieties, Zagatala local improved, Zagatala-514, Zagatala-68, Zagatala-420 maize varieties, Nail, Narmin chickpeas varieties, and Arzu lentils variety are cultivated over large areas and seeds of these varieties are in high demand among farmers. It is no coincidence that foreign scientists representing 41 countries praised new wheat varieties with large cultivation areas created under the leadership of Academician J.A.Aliyev at the International Conference, held on July 24-30, 2011 in Baku, and dedicated to “Photosynthetic studies for prosperity”. Nowadays, the Azerbaijan Research Institute of Crop Husbandry is a holder of more than 70% patents for 59 varieties of crops and legumes (28 of soft, 9 – of durum wheat, 8 - barley, 7- maize, 5 - chickpeas, 2 - lentils) included into the warrant of the State Registry of Breeding Achievements. Along with practical breeding and theoretical developments the Institute pays a lot of attention to arrangement of the industrial variety trials in different ecological zones of the country and accelerated multiplication of seeds of regionalized and promising varieties. Cultivation of seeds of super elite and elite varieties seeds in order to transfer them to specialized seed farms for breeding to elite varieties 176 and first reproduction is carried out at the ZESs of the Institute. Seed farming activity for 35 varieties of crops and legumes (14 of soft wheat, 9 of durum wheat, 6 of barley, 4 of maize, 1 of chickpea and 1 of lentil) of the Institute is conducted at the ZESs of the Institute every year in the area of 600-700 hectares. At these farms elite, super elite and original seeds are produced in an average amount of 1000-1200 tonnes. Elite seeds produced at these farms, according to the quota, on the basis of distribution by the Ministry of Agriculture, are distributed between more than 120 public and private seed growing farms. Since 1996 the Institute of Crop Husbandry is collaborating with International Breeding Centers CIMMYT, ICARDA on introduction and testing of samples of crops and legumes, and participates in international and regional events, personnel training courses are held. As a result of joint collaboration 4 varieties of soft wheat, 1 – of barley, 1- of chickpea and 1 variety of lentils were created and regionalized. These varieties are cultivated on large crop areas. Many scientific developments of the Institute were performed at a level corresponding to world achievements, and during the period of its activities 12 of them were recognized as inventions, and invention certificates were received for them from the State Scientific and Technical Committee of Inventions and Discoveries, and innovation certificates were received for 9 of them. 63 of 118 crop varieties created in the Institute were regionalized for different regions of the Republic by the Resolution of the State Commission for Testing and Protection of Achievements; Certificates of Authorship of the inventions were received for them. Durum wheat varieties created by scientists of the Institute exceeding international standards by quality indicators 11 times were presented at the All-Union Exhibitions of Achievements of the National Economy in Moscow, 19 times at national exhibitions, including exhibition in Algeria in 1982, in Luanda, the capital city of Angola, in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, in 1983, in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, in 1984, in the Indian capital, Delhi, in 1985, as well as in other countries, and repeatedly awarded prizes and medals, from 1981 until 1989. Stuff of the Institute have repeatedly been recognized as the winner of socialist competitions, and in 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987 were awarded the passing flag, diplomas and certificates for high quality of the research works and effective implementation of them in the production. The top 10 scientists of the Institute were awarded honorary degrees, orders and medals for scientific achievements and their implementation in the production. In order to provide scientific guidance and practical support scientists visited the farms of the Republic more than 7,000 times. During the period of activities the Institute held up to 500 conferences, 2300 reports were made and 800 lectures were delivered. In order to promote the latest science achievements and best practices for farms, farmers and business people more than 400 casts on the Republican radio and television were produced, 4 documentaries were made and shown. According to the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic, 159 of the Institute’s developments were adopted for implementation in the production. The results of scientists’ research during the period of activities of the Institute are reflected in more than 60 monographs and books, 219 brochures, 3.500 papers, 38 posters, 50 booklets, 5 catalogs of crop varieties and 23 volumes of proceedings of the Institute. Much of the credit in the achievement such a huge success by the Institute of Agriculture belongs, in the first place, to a prominent scientist, Doctor of Biological Sciences, Professor, Honoured Scientific Worker, active member of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, foreign member of the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, the Ukrainian Academy of Agrarian Sciences and the Academy of Agrarian Sciences of the Republic of Belarus, member of the International Society of Photosynthesis Research, the International Society for Plant Molecular Biology, the Cell Stress Society International, the American Society of Plant Biologists, Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists, Chairman of the Azerbaijan National Committee on Bioethics, Ethics of Science and Technology under UNESCO, Chairman of the Azerbaijan Society of Biochemists and Molecular Biologists, President of the Foundation of “Development of New Fields of Biology” (BEYSIF) Jalal Alirza Aliyev. While working at the Institute since the early days of its establishment, Jalal Aliyev 177 has made an invaluable contribution to the development of agricultural biology and development of scientific and theoretical basis of breeding, creation of new high-yielding varieties of intensive type, created new forms of combination of fundamental research and applied science. Scientific activity of Academician J.A.Aliyev was aimed at the study of crops, increasing their productivity to meet the needs of the population in food products and elimination of food shortage. During these years countless varieties created, breeding school, rich wheat fund, valuable scientific works written by selfless scientists of the Institute of Crop Husbandry are the national wealth of Azerbaijan and will remain the heritage for future generations and will play a role in ensuring food security of the country for centuries.