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ILVO press release - Wednesday, July 17, 2019

ILVO strengthens contacts with PERU: Memorandum of Understanding with INIA - Peru signed

ILVO and its Peruvian counterpart INIA – Peru have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that enables scientific cooperation and exchange, effective immediately. The ambassador for Peru in our country, and also the permanent representative to the EU Gonzalo Gutierres, attended the official signing at ILVO’s Melle campus.

ILVO has had good contacts with Peru for the last three years, mainly in the field of potato expertise. Recently two more Peruvian scientists visited the Food Pilot to optimize an automated freeze-drying process of the typical potato product 'tunta' for a local farming community in the Andes Mountains.

Peru Ambassador Gutierres: "While the economy of Peru used to be mainly based on mining, now agricultural plant production has rapidly gained importance over the last 20 years. For successful exports, however, it is important to become competitive in terms of environmental and food safety requirements. That is why cooperation with a European center for agricultural and food research is very important."

INIA - Peru expressed an interest in sharing knowledge with regard to breeding and biotechnology, both on the regulatory procedural level (CFR their export/import) and in the field of research technology. Kristiaan Van Laecke (Head of ILVO Plant Sciences Unit): "In the recent past, ILVO has already achieved a clear added value from the contacts, for example by accessing the genetic databases for indigenous food crops such as quinoa , corn and potatoes."

The MOU includes cooperation on a number of general and a number of specific domains. Budgetary transfers are not foreseen. The text mentions, among others, cooperation in the field of

  • Identification of transgenic maize
  • Genetic characteristics of drought, heat and disease resistance in plants
  • (molecular) breeding
  • Quality of plant seeds and regulations around them
  • Protection of plant varieties
  • DNA of indigenous food crops
  • Determination of food quality & nutritional value

Finally, the mutual interest in smart agriculture, climate smart farming and organic farming has been established but needs to be made more concrete.

Joris Relaes, Administrator-General of ILVO: "This cooperation with a country outside Europe is also seen in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals (the UN SDGs), which ILVO actively supports."


Cathy Plasman (ILVO external and EU contacts),, M +32 492 97 09 51
Greet Riebbels, Communication ILVO,, M +32 486 26 00 14