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Agricultural biotechnology continues to grow in North Carolina

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TWC News: Agricultural biotechnology continues to grow in North Carolina
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RALEIGH -- The agricultural biotechnology industry is booming and all estimates indicate it is ready to get larger- especially in North Carolina.

“There are over 80 different crops,” said Gwyn Riddick with the N.C. Biotechnology Center. “Many of them have potential to be greater yield, greater quality.”

The "Leadership in Ag Biotech" conference met in Raleigh Wednesday. The message is growth is possible and expected, but success hinges on national interest in keeping government policies up to date with ever changing advances.

“I don't feel like we open enough markets around the world for North Carolina product or US product,” said Sen. Richard Burr, a Republican. “And this should be foundationally part of every trade negotiation that we have.”

Business leaders said North Carolina is the place to be having this conversation because it offers the perfect mix of education, and resources to help motivate innovation. This holds true for smaller businesses just making their name in the field to some of the worlds biggest bio-agricultural firms.

“We started the company 12 years ago,” said Giles Shih, BioResources International, Inc CEO, “and have now developed the company to where we have 18 employees in the Research Triangle and in Apex and we have a product on the market that we sell through distributors all over the world.”

“We've got amazing research that is coming out of our laboratories,” said Steven Goldsmith with Sygenta. “New innovations in biofuels. Crops that are more drought tolerant.”

With this growth, this group said they are hopeful to expand North Carolina's already $64 billion industry.

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