Global Agriculture

Bayer grant to explore the potential of native grains

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01 July 2023, AU: First Nations Peoples have sustainably produced food from native Australian ecosystems for thousands of years.

Native grasses hold excellent nutritional value such as fatty acids, but their potential as a food source and economically viable industry has not been investigated, until now.
Bayer is proud to provide a $240,000 grant to the University of Sydney to investigate the untapped potential of native grains.

As a life science company, Bayer is continually looking at innovative ways to support and strengthen underserved communities. The three-year research program aims to grow the Indigenous native grain industry by revitalising traditional methods of using grains, investigating the use of plant selection to identify wild populations with suitable attributes for commercial grain production, and amplifying education and knowledge sharing among the local Kamilaroi and other First Nations communities

Importantly, the research program includes supporting an Indigenous trainee to increase skills base and support the emerging industry.

Research objectives

Specifically, the research objective is to produce plant seeds by selection from wild populations with characteristics suitable for commercial native grain production and food markets.

Desirable traits include high seed yield per hectare, low shattering, easy to harvest, easy to thresh, high thousand kernel weight, high protein (or other desirable nutrients), and compactness and uprightness in inflorescence.

This project is supported exclusively by a Bayer grant, and research conducted by The University of Sydney Plant Breeding Institute. If superior plant forms are identified, the Indigenous communities will have the rights to use, grow and commercialise these forms, as the IP for the future variety has already been signed over to the University of Sydney.

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