11.10.2013

A Plant Biotechnology Center opens in La Rioja

This center required an investment of more than $ 17 million and will use micropropagation techniques applied to plant production. It was launched by Minister Barañao and Governor Beder Herrera.

A Plant Biotechnology Center opens in La Rioja

Minister Barañao and Governor Beder Herrera with the BioVida’s scientific staff.

The Minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, Lino Barañao, launched the Center of “BioVida” Plant Biotechnology in Chilecito, La Rioja. The institution has laboratories, a plant nursery and a germplasm center and required an investment of $ 17,198,000. This center allows the use of micropropagation techniques applied to plant production.

"With this work we demonstrate the importance and benefits of incorporating technology, generating added value, sustainability, environmental sustainability, promoting social inclusion"

Barañao inaugurated BioVida together with the governor of La Rioja, Luis Beder Herrera, and stressed out that "This is the best quality and cutest center I've seen among the centers we have in the country" and he added that "we see here compliance of what we preach from the national government about science and technology”. Moreover, Barañao stressed out that "with this work we demonstrate the importance and benefits of incorporating technology, generating added value, sustainability, environmental sustainability, promoting social inclusion" and he added that "it is a clear example that we have the science for the generation of quality work. This is the direction of Argentina and La Rioja in that way is an example at national level".

BioVida has a micropropagation laboratory comprising 1,000 square meters of covered area with a production capacity of 2,000,000 seedlings per each four month cycle. Additionally, a nursery for breeding and rearing of 50,000 square meters of surface covered by screen houses and 25,000 meters square of hot beds heated greenhouses and mist sprinkling irrigation were built. Finally, a germoplasm bank or collection of mother plants was created; it has 50 acres of field with drip irrigation and planting of mother specimens of each species of agricultural and commercial interest.

The new center will change the actual production of the region through an increase in productivity and competitiveness based on performance, quality, health and value added products. It also places the State as a key player in the generation and diffusion of technological developments applied to the productive sector in the region and involves the appropriation of developments in plant genetics.

The Ministry of Science provided through the National Agency for Science and Technology Promotion $ 13,253,000 for the building of BioVida which will operate as a corporation (Sociedad Anónima) wherein the La Rioja State has a majority stake and which will bring genetics to small producers who do not have access due to high costs.

What is plant micropropagation?

The plant micropropagation is a branch of biotechnology that aims at individuals cloning from a small portion of a mother plant selected for this purpose because of its qualities. As desired characteristics the following should be considered: resistance to certain viruses, bacteria, fungi and agrochemicals, growth and increased performance factors, development of desired traits for industrialization of the plant or its fruits, adaptability to particular agroclimatic means such as long drought areas or saline soils, and improving of those qualities that are beneficial for animal nutrition, pasture and forage.

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Minister Barañao and Governor Beder Herrera with the BioVida’s scientific staff.

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