The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Clara Aguilera, and the mayor of Loja, Miguel Castilian, opened these days in the Andalusian Centre of Organic Farming and Biodiversity (CAEB) based in the Loja city. The new facility aims to be a national reference in the multiplication of landraces and this will boost their own seed production with commercial interests.
The center, which brings together the work developed by the Center for Counseling and Training in Organic Agriculture (CAFAGE of Jaen) and the Research and Training Center for Organic Agriculture (CIFAED, Granada) improves the marketing of traditional and local seeds through certification. "Making available to find certified seed producers and guaranteed quality", said Aguilera, who stressed that the fundamental objective is the research center, training and technical advice.
The new complex, located on a plot of municipal property in the locality Los Caracolares, has an area of 4.37 hectares and a modern design, adapted to the environment, complete with classrooms and a farm for environmental testing and crop research.
The center has space for administration and includes an informative department, a library specialized in farming, a seed conservation laboratory and a training room, from which conferences and courses will be taught to farmers. Finally, there is an experimental section, which is equipped with greenhouse areas.
The total investment that it needed was an amount of 967 000 euros and was financed by Municipality of Loja, Andalusia and the Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs.
The owner of Agriculture said the center will serve as a reference for Loja organic products. "It will extend to all over Andalusia and even national, provincial experiences accumulated in the provincial consortia of Jaen and Granada in Santa Fe."
The representative of the regional government reported that "organic products leads Andalusia in Spain for both agricultural area and the number of marketing and processing industries", he added.
If in 2009, Catalonia led the eco-industry sector, in 2010, data located Andalusia at the forefront of all parameters of organic products. "It is essential to have processing industries in our territory" said Aguilera assessed that "54% of total area of Andalusia, Granada province contributes 12.5% and 14.3% of processing industries."
The adviser said that "there will be no cuts in research and innovation" because "we think that is the best investment for the future of our economic sectors."
For its part, the municipal councilor, Miguel Castilian stressed that "from this center will work in research, training and dissemination of the sector. In the conservation and preservation of seeds of traditional agriculture of our country and especially for those with interest to farmers and ranchers. "
CAEB priority aims to promote and manage research and development projects related to organic products industry and its associated industries. The research also will be directed towards rural development in order to recover the traditional knowledge of agriculture and livestock, landscape conservation and enhancement of biodiversity, as well as those related to the increased opportunities to diversify the rural economy.
In this way, and with a desire for integration and coordination, this new research center will serve farming beyond the provincial level and will be more useful to the industry and traditional seed varieties adapted this production system.