The Seed and Grain Research Center (CIGRAS as it is know by its Spanish acronym), belongs to the Faculty of Agronomic Sciences at the University of Costa Rica (UCR). CIGRAS was founded in 1971 as a research, teaching, and extension unit.
In 1972, two laboratories, the Grain Testing Laboratory and the Seed Testing Laboratory, were established under two separate Costa Rican Republic Laws (5079 and 5029, which was later modifiedin law 6289), respectively. In that same year, the Laboratory for Analysis of Mycotoxins was created. Thereafter, in 1979 facilities atCIGRAS were expanded to include a new building (“Building B”) that initially house the y the Post-Harvest Grain ManagementLaboratory . Finally, in 1981 the Laboratory of Biotechnology was created.
a. Conduct scientific investigations in the areas of seed and grain post-harvest handling and trading, plant breeding, biotechnology, seed production and germplasm conservation.
b. Participate in academic and educational activities offered at UCR , especially in the Faculty of Agronomic Sciences, as well as in both the graduate and undergraduate programs.
c. Provide testing services to the public and private sector related to the analysis of mycotoxins, and seed and grain quality .
d. Educate professional and technical staff from the agribusiness sector at the national and international level in the areas of seed and grain post-harvest and quality control.
e. Develop, adapt and divulge technologies that promote the efficiency and competitiveness of private companies and that contribute to improving the quality of life for Costa Rican farmers, especially those involved in subsistence agriculture.
f. Providetechnical advice related to the different specialities that exist within CIGRAS.