New biotechnology centre launched in Lae

A modern biotechnology centre for agricultural research and development in PNG was launched in Lae, Morobe province. This two-story building will house general and specialised laboratories in the areas of pest and disease management and diagnostics, applied molecular biology, tissue culture, and postharvest and food processing.

The facility is being funded by the National Government with support from the Morobe Provincial Government.

Minister for High Education, Research, Science and Technology, Paru Aihi; Vice Minister for National Planning and Monitoring, Philip Kikala; and Morobe Governor, Luther Wenge, jointly performed the ground-breaking ceremony during the annual Agricultural Innovations Show of the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) at Bubia,Lae, on May 5, to kick-start the project.

NARI will be the custodian of this central facility which is expected to enhance its research for development capacity and provide support services to agriculture and other sectors of the country. The application of the centre includes the utilisation of modern technologies for faster and more reliable identification of pests and diseases and faster development of improved crop varieties, improved conservation and utilisation of plant and animal genetic resources and improved opportunities for value addition of food crops.

The facility will also house the Geographic Information System and the National Agricultural Information System, including NARI’s central library.

Source: Didinet Vol.7, Issue 5, 2011

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