INDUSTRY will be offered a chance on May 9 to taste-test new plant varieties at the Australasian Plant Breeding Conference on the Gold Coast.
The first of its kind in almost a decade, the 16th event will feature 200 speakers and 450 delegates, and bring together current and future plant breeders, allied scientists, innovators, and experts from around the globe to explore the theme Towards 2050.
Contributors will examine the long-term nature of plant breeding and its essential role in delivering food and prosperity for the predicted global population of nine billion by mid-century - all in the context of decreasing available production area, climate change and demand for new products.
The opening day will shine a spotlight on plant innovations and give attendees a chance to taste-test and get amongst new plant varieties.
Chair of APBC Organising Committee Associate Professor Craig Hardner said this conference is a tremendous opportunity for the industry to come together and work Towards 2050.
"Plant breeding is a fundamental component of agriculture. It is vital for the ongoing sustainability of food and fibre industries and the health and well-being of society.
"We're responsible for ensuring that tastier, higher productivity, disease-resistant, resilient, and sustainable varieties and breeds of plants continue to be developed and refined for kitchen tables worldwide."
As the first Conference since 2014, the APBC will be an important meeting place for different generations of plant breeders and scientists to connect and share experiences and ideas.
"We're looking forward to learning from international and local experts and the industry leaders of tomorrow," Dr Hardner said.
"And it's not just vegetables and fruits. The Conference will also attract the best scientists and representatives from fields including forestry, grains, nuts, and turf."
Dr Hardner encouraged attendees to come along to the event to celebrate plant innovation, novelty, and breeding success stories.
"It promises to offer something to anyone from beers bred with a new variety of hops to new breeds of snack-sized vegetables, a fluffier rice variety for the perfect paella and pink strawberry varieties for prettier pavlovas," he said.
The event is supported by major sponsors including the University of Queensland, Queensland Government via the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Forestry, Illumina, Kalyx, Nuseed, and other sponsors representing agriculture groups and food industry companies.
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