Embracing Plant Breeding Innovation on the island of Poel in Malchow


Plant breeding innovation is essential for sustainable agriculture. It is a natural step to help us ensure food quality, reduce crop loss and food waste, and address tomorrow’s agri-food challenges. atest plant breeding methods use the power of nature to develop improved plant varieties that better meet consumers’ demands and address some of the key challenges we face in our food supply chain and in our diets.

Last week, ESA Secretariat, together with members of SOF, had a chance to embrace plant breeding innovation at Norddeutsche Pflanzenzucht (NPZ)’s headquarter on the beautiful island of Poel in Malchow/Germany. NPZ, an active member of the European Seed Association (ESA), especially in the Section for Oil and Fibre crops (SOF), opened with great hospitality its doors to host a successful meeting of the ESA SOF Section.

Norddeutsche Pflanzenzucht Hans-Georg Lembke KG (NPZ) is a privately-owned, medium-sized plant breeding company with its head office in Hohenlieth near Eckernförde. The second site of NPZ is located in Malchow on the island of Poel which is the origin of the family business dating back to 1897 when Hans Lembke took over his parents’ farm in its 10th generation and started to test winter oilseed rape. Following world War II, Hans Lembke’s company located in East Germany was expropriated and continued as a state-owned seed company and later as a plant breeding institute. Hans Lembke’s eldest son founded the Norddeutsche Pflanzenzucht in Schleswig-Holstein (West Germany) in 1946, relocating in the actual Headquarters in Hohenlieth in 1952. In 1991/1992, after Germany’s reunification, NPZ repurchased Hans Lembke’s former seed company and re-organised at the two above-mentioned locations. Currently, NPZ is a successful breeder of winter and spring oilseed rape, field beans, peas and fodder plants.

Over time, our understanding of plants and natural science has evolved enormously. Today, smart molecular and agricultural methods help breeders to ensure food quality, reduce crop losses in the field and food waste, and to address tomorrow’s food challenges. To enhance efficiency in plant breeding, NPZ, among other ESA members, increasingly applies the new technologies. With a success story especially in oilseed rape, NPZ continues to meet the need of the assorted consumers having recorded the world’s first erucic acid-free and low in glucosinolates winter oilseed rape variety, as well as the world’s first fully-restored winter oil seed rape hybrids created using MSL (Male Sterility Lembke) hybrid system.

Today’s modern agriculture faces enormous challenges and NPZ is a good example of using plant breeding innovation to meet these challenges.


In order to learn more about plant breeding innovation:

·         Visit website: www.plantbreeding.eu

·         Join the conversation online: #EmbracingNature #PlantBreeding

·         Read ESA Position Paper on Plant Breeding Innovation