Crop Biotech Update

Peru Promotes Andean Center for Phytogenetic Resources

April 20, 2011

At the recent meeting at the Ministerial level of the Governing Body of the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) in Bali, Indonesia and the subsequent technical level meeting, the Peruvian delegation read a statement of the Minister of Agriculture of Peru, announcing the initiative of developing an Andean Center for Phytogenetic Resources. It hopes to expand present facilities and germplasm banks existing in Peru and place facilities of the National Institute of Agricultural Innovation at its disposal.

The project will expand present collections of plants in storage, amounting to 17,500 accessions by exploration and collection of cultivated plant landraces and varieties, and wild related species. The Center will also store, index and document accessions. It will explore the potential of useful genes in the various species including some underutilized or "orphan species" of the 142 agricultural species that have been domesticated in Peru, one of the major world centers of agricultural plant origins and primary variation.

Countries of the Andean and Amazonian regions will be invited to participate in the project . Other countries, will also be able to participate in the project as it will be established under the ITPGRFA, which is linked to the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Email Dr. Alexander Grobman of PeruBiotec at alexander.grobman@gmail.com for more details.