In March 2012, EMR signed an agreement with the Beijing Academy of Agriculture Forestry Sciences (BAAFS) to establish a joint research office on strawberry breeding and genetics. The agreement was initially for three years but was extended for a further three years in 2015.
The central objective of this joint research office is to evaluate EMR cultivars for commercial production in China and to breed strawberry cultivars specifically for China, combining desirable traits from both Chinese and European genetics resources. More recently, the possibility of extending this collaborative effort to other key strawberry production areas such as the South-western region, have been explored.
In this joint venture, EMR is primarily responsible for training researchers from BAAFS and providing expert advice on strawberry breeding and genetics, to help BAAFS to develop a modern strawberry breeding programme and particularly, to develop a high-health nursery propagation certification scheme.
In 2013, BAAS secured a significant amount of funding from the Chinese government to build infrastructure necessary for the breeding programme.
As breeding for improved fruit quality is a long-term venture, commercial release of new cultivars will not be expected from this joint effort until 2020. Availability of such cultivars will help to improve production efficiency and provide health benefit to consumers, in addition to increased profit for growers. Increased market share of these cultivars will generate royalty income to both BAAFS and EMR.
For more information, please contact Prof. Xiangming Xu