On May 21, 2002, under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the National Centre for Agrarian Sciences (NCAS), the Konstantin Malkov Institute of Plant Genetic Resources – Sadovo celebrated the 120th anniversary of agrarian science in Sadovo, 130th anniversary of Konstantin Malkov, 100th anniversary of Academician Pavel Popov and 25th anniversary of the Institute of Plant Genetic Resources (IPGR) – Sadovo. Representatives of government institutions – the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, institutes and stations of the National Centre for Agrarian Science, Bulgarian Academy of Science, Agrarian University of Plovdiv, Higher Institute of Food Industry, non-government environmental organizations, guests from the country and abroad came for the celebration. Dr. Lorenzo Maggioni of the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute and Chief Coordinator of the European Project of Plant Genetic Resources, Rome, Italy was present as well.
The celebration was inaugurated by the President of NCAS – Academician Tsvetan Tsvetkov. The Director of the IPGR, Prof. Dr. Rada Koeva, addressed the participants in the anniversary celebration. Her speech was a retrospective analysis of the development of agrarian science in Bulgaria, the beginning of which was set with the first experimental field of the Agricultural High School in Sadovo in 1882. The demonstration and experimental center in Sadovo developed into an experimental station in 1902 and the Institute of Plant Genetic Resources in 1977, closely related to the European development projects in agriculture and conservation of plant genetic resources (PGR). A number of bright personalities with remarkable presence in the annals of agricultural science in Sadovo were honored – Konstantin Malkov, the first director of the station and patron of IPGR, Stanislav Dospevski, Matey Vishnevski, Jeko Cholakov, Academician Daskalov, Academician Pavel Popov and other famous scientists that have worked in Sadovo. The roots of never-ending vitality and youth of agrarian science in Sadovo were spoken to lay in its organic interaction with the needs of society and good coordination with international communities. The major scientific achievements of IPGR – Sadovo and the equivalent valuable scientific products were outlined such as over 59,000 samples of plant genetic resources of more than 109 crops and over 337 plant species of different origin, more than 61 cultivars of over 17 basic crops were developed along with the respective economic production technologies. The responsibilities of IPGR – Sadovo in the development and accomplishment of the National Strategy of Biodiversity Conservation as of 1995 until the present day were emphasized.
The official agenda included many congratulation addresses from other participants, presentation of the new museum exhibition at the premises of the National Genebank, opening of a Botanic Garden for wild species of Bulgarian flora and visit to the experimental field.
The speech of Dr. Lorenzo Maggioni of IPGRI provoked a special interest as he gave a concrete dimension to the role and contribution of IPGR – Sadovo in the European Program for Plant Genetic Resources. A program for the development of the Botanic Garden, aiming at conservation of the diverse collection of local resources of valuable, rare, endangered and endemic wild species and its educational potential was approved with great expectations on behalf of the environmentalists and the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources.
On May 2, 2002, an official scientific session, dedicated to the 120th anniversary of agrarian science in Sadovo, took place with the participation of scientists from the country and abroad with over 210 scientific reports, 7 of which were plenary, 16 – section and the rest were posters. The abstracts of the reports of all three sections were published in an anniversary collection.