Plant biotech hub sets 2014 targets

Posted On Tuesday, 12 October 2004 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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A national innovation centre for plant biotechnology plans to spend over R112-million over the next three years in a bid to develop a sustainable agricultural and plant biotechnology industry in South Africa by 2014.

Infrastructure IndustryA national innovation centre for plant biotechnology plans to spend over R112-million over the next three years in a bid to develop a sustainable agricultural and plant biotechnology industry in South Africa by 2014.

Science and Technology Minister Mosibudi Mangena officially launched the centre, known as PlantBio, in KwazuluNatal after it was established in April.

It is also the last of the four biotech innovation centres created by the Department of Science and Technology. The department has earmarked R450-million to be invested by 2006 to support the country's biotechnology activities.

"To achieve its needs, PlantBio requires a minimum of R112,5-million over the next three years," says Dr Sagadevan Mundree, CEO of PlantBio.

DST has committed R24-million for 2004, and PlantBio is not aware of any further funds.

External funding sources will be identified and lobbied and the hub will market itself to attract additional funding from the private and public sectors.

By 2014 PlantBio intends to have supported 25 projects that will bring nine to ten products to the market.

It plans to confine its activities to plant and agricultural biotechnology, giving specific attention to the needs of small-scale farmers, and small, medium and micro enterprises. This will involve the modification and production of new or improved plant crops and the development of new methods for crop management or plant-derived products.

PlantBio will also support local research on drought and disease tolerance for maize, as a high priority project affecting 90% of small-scale farmers.

 

Last modified on Monday, 04 November 2013 12:59

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