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IAEA assigns Indonesia to be plant breeding center

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) assigns the Indonesian National Nuclear Energy Agency (Batan) to be a radiation mutation plant breeding center in Southeast Asia region.

“IAEA has a huge attention to the mutation plant breeding, and therefore we assign Batan to be the center as it is highly skilled in that field,” an IAEA representative, Stephen Nielen, said here on Monday.

He hoped the assignment of Batan to be a center for radiation mutation plant breeding could be a way for technology transfer to the developing country.

The nuclear technology has been intensively applied in Indonesia by using the gamma ray.

The objective of the radiation mutation plant breeding is to fix the genetic characteristics in order to improve plants productivity and immunity to pests.

The radiation method has a significant advantage compared with other techniques because the breeds have various characteristics.

“Batan has produced 22 rice varieties, ten soybean varieties, two varieties of green beans, three varieties of sorghum, and one variety of wheat,” Batans head Djarot Wisnubroto pointed out.

Currently, the bean variety is being tested and assessed by a team of the Agricultural Ministry.

Meanwhile, the rice varieties have been planted in 24 provinces to support the governments national food self-sufficiency and the sorghum varieties have been apploied in several marginal and arid lands.

“Batan is also successful to improve local paddy plants genetic characteristics, including the age of harvesting, immunity and adaptability,” Djarot said.

IAEA also considers Batans Isotope and Radiation Application Center has met international standards.

Currently, Batan is providing a workshop on radiation mutation plant breeding to young researchers from Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, and Tanzania.(*)

Source: Jakarta Post
Link: http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/107819/iaea-assigns-indonesia-to-be-plant-breeding-center