The institute activities were launched at 1989 as a UNDP funded project called the National Agricultural Genetic Engineering Laboratory (NAGEL).Then Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institute (AGERI) joined ARC as the newest institute presenting the main vehicle within the agricultural arena for the transfer and application of biotechnology and genetic engineering future sciences.
Rapid progress encouraged the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation (MOALR) to authorize the foundation of AGERI under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Magdy Madkour in 1992 as a discipline - oriented institute within the Agricultural Research Center (ARC) in Giza, Egypt. In 1999 AGERI upgraded its facilities with the new annex that includes the admistrarive offices and the store.
Attention is now paid for the possibility of achieving agricultural development through the transfer and application of modern technology such as genetic engineering, agricultural and animal biotechnology Which can open new horizons that help to improve agricultural and animal production , provide an access to an adequate standard of food security to face the rapid population growth and the provision of foreign currency through the improvement of agricultural systems , marketing efficiency and increase the export capacity of some crops , agricultural products and provide the industrial and other sectors needs that depend on agricultural product as feedstock or activate the cooperation with the private sector in the production of genetically improved seeds so that Egyptian production could reach the international levels and increase the global competitiveness in environment preservation and reduce the use of pesticides during pests and pathogens control ,resulting in a cleaner environment and it's positive reflection on the Egyptian citizen health.
The goals of the AGERI Research program focused on:
- Conducting Basic agricultural research to find nontraditional solutions some demanding or insistent problems through biotechnology applications.
- Provide advanced laboratory capabilities in the field of study and gene transfer.
- Attracting Egyptian and Arab scientists to support research in the field of agricultural genetic engineering.
- Raising the efficiency of agricultural product through the production hybrids and varieties with high productivity through the introduction of genes that are responsible for increasing plant resistance to diseases , pests and inappropriate environmental conditions, which is reflected on the increased yield and reduced wastage of the crop also prolonging the storage period of horticultural crops, and reduce importing some seeds from abroad , provide hard currency and laying the foundations for the establishment and development of new industries and activities in the area of genetically improved seeds with resistance to diseases and pests.
- Establishment of rules to maintain the intellectual property rights in the field of biotechnology.
- Interaction with the private sector to serve the different products on the local and regional level using different techniques of biotechnology.
- Conducting various studies to determine the potential environmental risks of the genetically engineered crops and prove their safety for the environment.
- Training research staff on the national and regional level.
- Genotypic identification of all economically important Egyptian varieties also on the regional level.
- Improving crop economically important crop varieties and increasing their productivity, which include:
- Cereal crops (wheat - corn - rice - sorghum – Barley).
- Legume crops (faba bean).
- Oil crops (cotton - canola - olive - Sesame - Sunflower).
- Sugar crops (sugar cane - sugar beet).
- Horticultural crops (potatoes - tomatoes -sweet potatoes - bananas - palm - cantaloupe – Strawberry).
- Ornamental plants crops (Gerbera - Flowers).