The main objectives are defined as follows :
* To improve the aesthetic and physiological quality of an essentially wild harvested product, researching methods to propagate, cultivate, breed, protect from insects and diseases and handle correctly after harvest.
* Reduce harvesting from the wild by 50%, thereby protecting the biodiversity and genetic resources of Proteaceae and other plants of the Flora Capensis.
* Provide technology to accelerate the establishment of wild harvesters as cultivators.
The project should provide comprehensive information on the crop production aspects of Proteaceae. This should lead to the formulation of cost effective cultivation guidelines for all the participant countries. Transfer of this technology to the farmers, especially the wild harvesters of South Africa should result in a decrease in wild harvesting without a loss of income. Ultimately, the development of genetically superior cultivars for cultivation using the appropriate cultivation, crop protection and post harvest technologies researched in this project will improve the quality of blooms delivered on the international markets.
* Genetic Resources : collect genetic resources from the wild and other sources, document and maintain in seed banks; ascertain the genetic diversity of a few species using DNA analysis; study methods of maintaining the viability of Proteaceae seed kept in long term storage.
* Reproduction biology, hybridization, selection and evaluation of breeding lines and candidate cultivars : ascertain levels of selfing and outcrossing in wild populations, produce new interspecific hybrids and evaluate field performance of new hybrids, species material and grafted material in various locations in South Africa, France, Spain and Zimbabwe.
* Crop science : determine water requirements of Proteaceae, study nutrient requirements of various protea species and hybrids, study ways to improve propagation and investigate flower initiation systems and how to use them to control flowering time.
* Factors influencing leaf blackening : investigation of factors affecting leaf blackening.
* Plant protection : develop screening methods for various leaf and root rot diseases, testing efficacy of chemical control, evaluate more environmentally friendly chemical control of leaf miners, test fumigation time and temperatures for effective post-harvest insect control.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
38200 La Laguna