24.10.2014

President inaugurated the Chaco Forest Biotechnology Centre

A credit of $ 14 million was granted by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation for completion of the work. It is dedicated to the research and plant species production to allow an increase in agricultural and forestry crops in the region in a sustainable manner.

The President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in the Center greenhouse. Photo: Courtesy of the Office of the President of the Republic

The President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in the Center greenhouse. Photo: Courtesy of the Office of the President of the Republic.

The President of the Republic, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner inaugurated the Center for Forest Biotechnology at Chaco. It is a first-level institution which will conduct sustainable research and plant species production to allow an increase in agricultural and forest crops of the region. It will include ornamental plants, forest and industrial species, cereals and oil seeds. The center will build on and enhance the experience of the School of Agricultural Education No. 13 that, from its biotechnology laboratory, conducts research, production development and diffusion activities of new technologies in the production process for the province. A funding of $ 14 million was granted by the Ministry of Science for completion of 80% of the work.

"The Government put the biotechnology in a special place.", said Cristina Fernández de Kirchner

During the inauguration ceremony, the President highlighted that "the Government put the biotechnology in a special place", and she added that "the new biotech complex is an honor for Chaco citizens and all Argentines". The ceremony was attended by the Undersecretary of Administrative Coordination of the Science portfolio, Rodolfo Blasco and the director of the Argentine Technology Fund (FONTAR), Facundo Lagunas.

The Centre has a high-tech 2,500 m2 laboratory, where research and technological developments projects will be conducted as required in the agricultural and forestry sector to generate optimal products from the point of view of energy, healthy, more environmentally friendly and competitive. Additional to becoming a space of national and international reference, professionals will be trained in micropropagation and genetic transformation techniques.

About the Center

The Center of Agro forestry Biotechnology is located in the School of Agricultural Education No. 13, inaugurated in 1982 and then developed through a self-management model. This institution, which in 2005 built a biotechnology laboratory in order to develop research and productive development programmes in ornamental plants, signed in 2009 a first research project, which was approved by the Federal Council for Science and Technology (COFECYT) of the Ministry of Science of the Nation. Through the PFIP – ESPRO funding line, aimed at the integration of value chains providing solutions in science and technology to the specific needs of national production, three projects were developed. In 2009, the project "Development and production of seedlings of high economic value by using in vitro culture techniques"; in 2010, the "Research and production development of seedlings of Ipomoea sweet potato - sweet potatoes free of viruses by meristem culture in vitro" and in 2012, the "Development of eucalyptus seedlings by culture in vitro".

In 2010 the capacity of the Laboratory of Biotechnology was increased, with its own resources, incorporating research and technological development in the forestry and industrial area, and obtained the first in-vitro carob plants. A second research project was also presented, approved in the Federal Council for Science, through which the first sweet potatoes plants free of viruses was obtained by meristem culture with thermotherapy.

In 2011 the school was invited by the President of the Republic to participate in Technopolis with a Agricultural Biotechnology booth. The same year a booth was presented at the launch of the Food and Agricultural Plan 2020.

In 2012 an agreement was signed between the province of Chaco and the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) so that research programs were developed at the school to achieve drought resistant transgenic soybean and corn plants, in cooperation with the Agrobiotechnology Laboratory of the University of Litoral. Also in that year, the first training of the executive staff and teachers was performed in the International Potato Center in Peru, in order to determine the health of sweet potato plants through cerologico analysis.

That same year, the governor of Chaco, Jorge Capitanich and the Minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, Lino Barañao agreed upon the creation of the Center for Agroforestry Biotechnology in the field of the school, and the FONTAR, from the National Agency of Scientific and Technological Promotion, approved the draft and the funding of 80% of the work with a credit of $ 14 million, the remaining 20% being provided by the province.

Moreover, in the last three years, the school participated in the Technological Linking Missions to Asian countries, and plans to sign a cooperation agreement with the Forestry Department of the Beijing Municipality. It was convened by the CONICET to be part of creating BIOxAR (Biotecnología Vegetal Argentina), together with the Bishop Colombres Institute (Tucumán), Agrogenética (La Rioja) and Biofábrica (Misiones).

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  • The President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in the Center greenhouse. Photo: Courtesy of the Office of the President of the Republic
  • President inaugurated the Chaco Forest Biotechnology Centre
  • President inaugurated the Chaco Forest Biotechnology Centre
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The President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in the Center greenhouse. Photo: Courtesy of the Office of the President of the Republic

The President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in the Center greenhouse. Photo: Courtesy of the Office of the President of the Republic.

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