STRAWBERRY PRODUCTION IN THE GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
At present the strawberry production in the German Democratic Republic is about 35,000 t per year, 10,000 t of this is produced in the homegardens. The production per person is about 1,7 kg. On the average about 50% of the strawberries are for the fresh market, and 50% for processing.
It is planned to increase the strawberry production to 45,000 t per year. Both in farms with big acreage on strawberries (50 to 150 ha) as in farms with 1,5 to 15 ha we have examples for very high yielding (100 to 180 t/ha). From 60 to 70 percent of the labour requested is for fruit picking. During the picking season more than 20,000 seasonal pickers work in the strawberry fields every day. From this problem the main aim in strawberry research has been deduced: harvesting mechanisation of more than 50 percent of the crop. In order to solve this problem there has been developed a strawberry harvester ( 840) and at the same time special varieties (Fratina, Fracunda) have been bred.
The most important varieties at present are Red Gauntlet, Senga Sengana, Tenira and Korona. Fratina is grown in farms which are already harvesting the strawberries with the harvester 840.
The propagation of plant material is centralized with utilization of in vitro plants for the propagation of elite plant material. The nurseries will be more and more separated from field, for berry production.