A Swiss-invested hybrid rice research and development (R&D) station was inaugurated in the Red River Delta province of Nam Dinh on August 14, becoming the first of its kind in Vietnam under the management of an international group.

The station covers 4 hectares of land in Tan Thinh commune, Nam Truc district. It is invested and operated by Switzerland-based Syngenta, the world’s leading multinational group on agricultural chemicals and biotechnology.

The facility, built at the cost of some 30 billion VND (1.4 million USD) in the first phase, is equipped with cutting-edge technologies and able to connect with other R&D stations of Syngenta around the world to share data and information.

In the first phase, it will mainly use genetic resources provided by its global counterparts to cross-breed rice and expects to supply two or three new rice varieties with high quality and yield to the Vietnamese market by 2017.

In the second phase after 2017, more modern laboratories will be set up to expand the work.

The station will also develop new cultivation methods to improve the effectiveness of rice farming.

Kumardev Datta, General Director of Syngenta Vietnam, said with its advantages in biotechnologies, Syngenta is able to mobilise its genetic resources around the globe to create rice plants that are suitable for Vietnam and help the country become a producer and exporter of hybrid varieties.-VNA