Seoul launches project to develop indigenous seeds

SEOUL, May 27 (Yonhap) -- The government launched a US$436 million project Monday to develop new indigenous seeds for crops that will help reduce the country's seed imports and also generate billions of dollars in exports.

Under the so-called "Golden Seed Project," the government will spend 35 billion won ($31 million) this year alone to develop up to 20 new seeds for various crops, fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon, tomato and rice, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Main research groups in the project will be named later in the year following a government review of applicants from late next month, it said in a press release.

A total of 491.1 billion won or $436 million will be invested by 2021.

The project is expected to help boost the country's exports of seeds to $200 million in 2020 and $3 billion in 2030, the ministry said.

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