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Seeds from grassland plants approved for NZ

23 May 2006

Seeds from grassland plants approved for NZ

Seeds from 71 families of grassland plants new to this country have been approved for importation into New Zealand as a genetic resource.

The application to import the seeds into containment for conservation and local and international research was made by AgResearch Limited, on behalf of the Palmerston North-based Margot Forde Forage Germplasm Centre. ERMA New Zealand Chief Executive, Rob Forlong, said the approval recognised that many of the seeds were of potential economic value to New Zealand, and of strategic national importance.

The seeds were predominantly from temperate and subtropical regions of the world, with emphasis on regions with similar climate to New Zealand.

"The approval also recognised the significance of the Centre's collection to New Zealand, not only in terms of adding economic value to the country, but also as an aid to local and international research," he said.

The Centre was also a repository for Australian grassland seeds, and in the unlikely event of a national disaster eliminating that country's grassland plants, New Zealand could provide seeds from the Centre's collection.

Documents covering all aspects of the application are available on www.ermanz.govt.nz

ENDS

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