News last update:6 Aug 2012

Hawaii facility for tropical crop research

The US Department of Agriculture opened a new facility on Hawaii to conduct more research on exotic tropical crops.

The $19-million, 35,000-square-foot office and laboratory structure is part of the US Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, operated by USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS). ARS is the chief scientific research agency of USDA.

"Our researchers develop new, environmentally friendly ways for Hawaii's growers and home gardeners to raise premium tropical and subtropical crops--from bananas to papayas," said ARS Administrator Edward B. Knipling.

Knipling added, "Our research has helped reduce the need for pesticides, open new markets for Hawaii-grown fresh produce, and unlock secrets about genes that hold the key to boosting plants' ability to survive drought or resist attack by disease."

The new scientific facility is located about four miles from downtown Hilo in a science and technology park managed by the University of Hawaii-Hilo.

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