STOCKHOLM, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Swedish government plans to open a national center for plant-breeding in order to develop new species of plants that are suitable for the Swedish climate.
According to a statement published on the Swedish government's website on Wednesday, access to suitable plant species is paramount for developing sustainable and competitive agriculture and gardening production across Sweden. That need grows as Sweden makes the transition to a bio-based and circular economy, the statement said.
"The government wants to ensure that farmers and plant growers can access species of plants that are suitable to Swedish conditions," said Minister for Rural Affairs Sven-Erik Bucht.
"This is crucial for our ability to cultivate - now and in the future - and not least considering changes in the climate. This investment is also in line with our food policy's overarching goal of increasing food production in Sweden," Bucht continued.
The idea is also that introducing more plant species that are specifically adapted to Swedish conditions can lead to decreased use of commercial fertilizer and plant-protection products. That in turn is beneficial for bio-diversity, the government statement asserted.
The proposed national center for plant breeding is supposed to be a hub for research and will serve as a collaboration partner for industry actors. It will be run by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and, according to the government budget proposition for 2018 that was presented this week, it will cost 70 million SEK (8.8 million U.S. dollars) to establish the center in 2019 and 2020. After that, according to the government's plans, it will be a permanent institution. (1 U.S. dollar = 8 SEK)