NIAB reveals new name and 6m investment


NIAB has reinvented itself.

The former National Institute of Agricultural Botany has changed its name to simply NIAB and will be investing 6 million over the next five years.

Based in Huntingdon Road, and founded more than 80 years ago, NIAB is more commercial these days and is extending its remit to cover world crops such as coffee, tea, wine and cotton.

It is also becoming involved in food traceability, and helping stricken areas such as Kosovo re-establish a sound agricultural infrastructure.

The Kosovo project has meant identifying and delivering the best quality seeds for new crops.

Simon Kerr, head of arable and horticultural crops, said : 'Just getting the seeds there is difficult. You can't go through Serbia because the borders are closed, which means taking a roundabout route, facing long traffic jams and having to make sure the seeds don't get 'frosted' on route.'

Agricultural in Kosovo has suffered years of decline as Serbia failed to invest in infrastructure there, which included failing to make sure seed was good quality.

NIAB has already been involved in a fertilisation programme and now it is tackling the seed problem.