Lucy Frazer, MP for south east Cambridgeshire, visited The National Institute of Agricultural Botany’s (NIAB) Park Farm research site near Histon on Wednesday, for a tour of the crop research centre’s facilities and to hear the plans for future expansion.
Ms Frazer was welcomed by CEO Dr Tina Barsby at NIAB’s award winning ‘green’ visitor centre, the Sophi Taylor Building. Dr Barsby outlined how NIAB is in the first stages of a restructure, building on its programme of investment over the past ten years which has included an expansion of the research activities with capital investment in the NIAB Sophi Taylor building and glasshouses at Park Farm. The restructuring process will enable NIAB to take better advantage of the renewed levels of public and private investment in UK plant science and agronomy, and start the process of re-developing the Huntingdon Road and Park Farm sites in Cambridge.
Ms Frazer was shown some of the crop research carried out by crop scientist and plant breeder Dr Phil Howell, including the introduction of a new type of ‘superwheat’, which offers new sources of yield improvement, drought tolerance, disease resistance and input use efficiency.