Vienna: The UN has honoured the National Agrarian University of Peru for a project that develops hardier, more resistant food crops using radiation-induced mutations.
The prize is awarded by a joint programme created by Vienna-headquartered International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), which promotes the use of nuclear technology to improve the world's food security.
The Peruvian project has been using radiation-induced mutations and other biotechnology techniques since 1970 to produce improved varieties of barley, quinoa and amaranth.
The award went to the Peruvian project because the improved varieties of the plants, which germinate at high altitudes of 5,000 m (16,393 feet) or greater, provide more than 7,000,000 farmers in the Andean region with their food and income, the IAEA said Wednesday.
The Peruvian initiative was one of five projects that were recognised at the ceremony at the IAEA headquarters.