The next generation of agricultural crops capable of resisting the effects of climate change and increasing food security will be identified at a major new research center based at the University of Queensland.
Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan MP announced $ 35 million in funding to establish the Australian Research Council (ARC) Center of Excellence for Plant Success in Nature and Agriculture.
UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj AC said the center would make an important contribution to Australian agriculture.
“It will provide innovative and cutting-edge research to improve crop resilience and increase yield, which will help provide solutions to critical issues of climate change and food security,” said Prof Høj.
“We are excited about this announcement – it highlights our exceptional researchers and the quality of the research undertaken at UQ.
“The ARC Centers of Excellence program funds highly innovative and transformational research and this is the ninth center of excellence established at UQ, which is an exceptional achievement.”
The director of the new UQ Center, Professor Christine Beveridge, said the team will identify nature’s successes and translate them into opportunities to improve the yield and resilience of agricultural crops.
“About two-thirds of the world’s human calorie intake comes from just three plant sources – wheat, rice and corn,” said Professor Beveridge.
“The sustainability of these crops against various climates, including drought, and the expansion of gains in various plants are essential in order to improve food security for the expected 25% increase in the world’s population over the next 30 years. years.
“By predicting which plant varieties are best suited to particular environments, we can help farmers choose which plants to grow in which areas for each season for the best yield.
“An important part of the Center is the focus on regulatory requirements that will allow new technologies to be scaled up globally for future-proof agriculture in Australia and around the world. ”
The Center will lead a global research network to translate new genetic discoveries into on-farm crop productivity.
UQ will collaborate with four Australian universities and CSIRO, as well as 12 other academic and industry partner organizations from Australia, Europe, Asia, the United States and Canada.
Together, they will provide an additional $ 75.2 million in cash and in-kind to the ARC Center of Excellence for Plant Success in Nature and Agriculture.
MEDIA: UQ Communications, [email protected], 07 3365 1120.