Cuba: Challenges & opportunities for scientific cooperation

A second attempt from Wageningen University & Research, BU Greenhouse & Horticulture to collaborate with Cuba in the area of plant protection has been made and several visits have been organized. This time the visit was addressed to the National Institute for Agricultural Sciences (INCA).

The Bioactive Products Group from INCA is developing biofertilizers and biostimulants based on natural, biological and non-toxic compounds to introduce safe products and substitute agrochemicals among local producers. So far, the group has developed several biostimulant formulations based on oligosaccharin derivatives (poly and oligosaccharides with biological activity on plants), a nitrogen fixation biofertilizers (Azofert) for leguminous and two general biostimulants (Pectimorf and QuitoMax). These formulations are products registered and successfully introduced into local agriculture in important crops such as grains, tubers and horticultural crops. However, they need to be internationally validated and extended in other crops worldwide. Both for research and for validation and extension at international level, INCA is looking for collaboration with research groups from several universities including WUR.

The idea is to set a stable relation with WUR through PhD projects, Tailor-Made and collaborative interactions to improve basic knowledge concerning to the mode of action of oligosaccharins and other bioactive compounds to protect plants against biotic and abiotic stress and to enhance growth and yields. In addition, collaborative work is proposed to study possible synergistic activities between bioproducts that allow designing new biostimulants or new applications. The new products could be offered to Dutch companies which might show interest in its commercialization.

For the moment one of the products mentioned above will be evaluated in case of a PPS will be granted at the end of the year. In such a project, WUR Greenhouses & Horticulture and Bioscience will be part of it.

INCA is organizing its XXI International Scientific Congress from November 20th to 23rd, 2018

Are you interested in the collaboration? Please contact Yaite Cuesta Arenas for further details.

Source: WUR

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