Indian-origin professor Neena Mitter wins major award in Australia for avocado research project

Oct 26, 2019

Brisbane [Australia], Oct 25 (ANI): Indian-origin professor , an agricultural biotechnologist based at The University of Queensland, has been named the winner of Australia India Science, Research and Development category at the 2019 India Australia Business and Community Awards (IABCA).
Professor Mitter, Director of the Centre for Horticultural Studies at the varsity, was bestowed with the award at the ceremony on October 11.
"Her work includes an avocado research project that has the potential to revolutionise the industry worldwide," according to a statement from Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ).
Professor Mitter has been involved in the field of molecular biology and biotechnology in Australia for over 20 years. She currently works as part of the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), based at the university.
She was part of a research team that developed 'BioClay', a clay that can be sprayed on crops to protect them from pests and diseases, the TIQ said.
Professor Mitter also led a project team that developed a tissue-culture system that can supply 500 times more avocado plants than traditional propagation methods.
"The system could double Queensland's avocado production and dramatically reduce the time it takes for new avocado varieties to reach commercial orchards, potentially boosting avocado exports and addressing a global avocado shortage," the TIQ statement said.
The India-Australia awards celebrate the relationship between the two countries and honour migrant entrepreneurship and community leadership. The TIQ led the Queensland Government's sponsorship of the awards.
Around 49,000 Queensland residents were born in India, and India is also one of Queensland's main trading partners, according to the TIQ.
The Queensland government's Queensland-India Trade and Investment Strategy 2018-2023 aims to strengthen the relationship between Queensland and India in order to generate jobs and foster economic growth, it said.
All the 15 IABCA winners were announced in front of around 400 guests at a gala at Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane on October 11. The guests attending the gala included TIQ CEO Paul Martyn and Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for India Gitesh Agarwal.
Professor Mitter's scientific journey began as an agricultural scientist in India, where she learned first-hand the significance of agriculture in shaping the world, economically, socially, environmentally and politically, according to her bio-data in QAAFI website.
"She is at the forefront of increasing University of Queensland's international presence, to support global collaborations in priority geographies, particularly India. With increased scrutiny on the use of chemicals as crop and animal disease control agents, she is focused on developing clean technologies for the horticulture of tomorrow," the profile further states. (ANI)