The Golden Seed Project (GSP) is part of the South Korean Government’s drive to support the seed industry. The ‘Golden Seeds’ in the project title refers to “high-value-added seeds worth as much as gold”, according to the project website; indeed, the website claims that coloured bell pepper seeds were actually more expensive than the price of gold!
The GSP was established in 2012 with a total budget of KRW 490 billion ($438 million) and is a strategic national R&D project for seeds based on collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA), the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF), the Rural Development Administration (RDA) and the Korean Forest Service (KFS). The first part of the project, which has been running since its inception in 2012, will be completed at the end of 2016, with the Asian Seed Congress providing a platform for the Korean seed industry to actively showcase the Gold Seed Project to the global seed industry. The GSP will be implemented over a ten year period from 2012 to 2021 with the intent to develop strategic seeds for export.
The operations of the project were established within a specialised R&D facility, the Korea Institute of Planning & Evaluation for Technology in Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, or IPET, which has been tasked with the project planning and management of the GSP.
The GSP aims to develop more than 20 strategic export varieties by supporting five project groups, each of which are responsible for developing new varieties under global market domination and variety projection strategies below:
• Vegetable Seed Development Division (chili pepper, Chinese cabbage, radish, watermelon, bell pepper)
• Horticulture Seed Development Division (cabbage, onion, tomato, mushroom, lily, mandarin)
• Fisheries Development Division (flatfish, serranidae, abalone and porphyra)
• Staple Seed Development Division (rice, potato and maize)
• Breeding Stock Development Division (pigs and chickens)
• Concentrate nationwide capabilities through industry-academia-government cooperation.
• Develop seeds and increase export capacities through the leading role of private companies.
• Provide comprehensive support for strategic R&D projects to penetrate target export markets using the following:
• Strategic items for dominating the global market: chili pepper, Chinese cabbage, radish, watermelon, flatfish, serranidae, abalone, rice, potato and maize.
• Strategic items for variety protection: cabbage, onion, tomato, mushroom, lily, mandarin, bell pepper, porphyra, pigs and chickens.
Golden Seed Project website: www.gsp.re.kr