At the invitation of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and with the active participation of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Belgrade, in particular the Attaché for Agriculture, Mr. Cohen Van Ginneken, and Ms. Mile Mirković, as a result of the continuation of joint cooperation in the field of plant protection between the two countries, a visit to the relevant institutions in the Netherlands was organized in the period from October 17 to 19, 2022. 

The delegation consisted of representatives of the Plant Protection Directorate, representatives of the Directorate for National Reference Laboratory and laboratories responsible for plant protection control in the Republic of Serbia. Representatives of the Directorate for National Reference Laboratories were Director Goran Zebić, Head of the Plant Protection Laboratory for Plant Health Testing and Seed Quality Testing Aleksandra Božić and Analyst for Molecular Biological Testing of Plant Pathogens Marija Milenković visited three laboratories for plant health testing, growers and warehouses for seed potatoes in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

On the first day, a working visit was organised to Naktuibouw, Roelofarendsveen, the Dutch inspection service for horticulture, which promotes and monitors the quality of products, processes and production chains in the horticulture sector. The focus was on the analysis of planting material of the national and international origin.

On the second day we visited the Netherlands Institute for Vectors, Invasive Plants and Plant Health (NIVIP) in Wageningen, which is one of the members of the Consortium of European Reference Laboratories for Bacteria. Maria Bergsma-Vlami PhD, and her colleagues presented the work of NIVIP as a national reference laboratory for bacteria, specialised in compliance with standards for routine testing and responsible for providing instructions and support to the official laboratories under the surveillance system for the adoption of (inter)national standards and protocols.

The Directorate for National Reference Laboratories presented their work and activities in the field of plant protection analysis, experiences were exchanged and opinions on deepening cooperation between laboratories were discussed.

After introductory talks and mutually presented work activities, there was a direct exchange of knowledge and experience in the daily laboratory work in the laboratories and greenhouse of the NIVIP, especially in the analysis of Clavibacter michiganensis subps. sepedonicus in potatoes seeds.

Visit to seed potato producers with overview of storage method and conditions, calibration, packaging, inspection and distribution of seed potatoes was executed.

The visit ended on the third day at the central laboratory for testing seed potatoes in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the laboratory NAK in Emmeloord.

The whole process of immunofluorescence testing, which is currently the main screening method for analysis in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, was presented on site, which allowed for an exchange of experiences in the field.

At the concluding meeting, representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of the Republic of Serbia and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kingdom of the Netherlands reviewed the results of the visit and agreed on further activities to continue the cooperation for the benefit of the country.

For information on the visit and cooperation between the two countries, see: