FuturaGene, a biopower and biofuel feedstock company, has signed a Cooperation Framework Agreement with EMBRAPA, (Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária) the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture research organisation.
Under the agreement, FuturaGene and EMBRAPA will establish collaborative research programs in eucalyptus and other tree species for the enhancement of sustainable development in Brazil and other territories.
"The partnership we have established with FuturaGene, which begins with the optimization of eucalyptus tolerance to aluminium, enables both companies to maximize their efforts towards sustainable, high yielding crops and the transition to a green economy,” said EMBRAPA President Mauricio Antonio Lopes.
The first project to be executed under the agreement will incorporate an aluminium-tolerance gene of EMBRAPA into FuturaGene eucalyptus germplasm to enhance yields in areas affected by aluminium toxicity in the soil.
EMBRAPA is one of the largest public sector tropical agriculture R&D organisations, with strong agroforestry capabilities, an annual R&D budget of over US$1 billion and more than 2,300 researchers in 42 centers located around Brazil. The mission of EMBRAPA, to develop technologies for enhancing food security and crop productivity, underlies the synergies that will allow the two organisations to develop new innovations for sustainable agro-forestry and meet the growing agro-ecological challenges related to productivity.
“Agro-forestry is a key weapon in fighting climate change and driving socio-economic development. Yield enhancement through genetic modification is an important factor in sustainable intensification of agro-forestry," said Dr. Stanley Hirsch, CEO of FuturaGene.
"Our joint research and development projects with EMBRAPA create a synergy that will allow strengthening of our capacity to improve the genetic diversity and resilience of plantation species and their capacity to restore degraded lands and deal with climate adaptation,” Hirsch said.