UK: Bangor experts looking for new open field tomato growing techniques

The Sárvári Research Trust, is working with experts at Bangor University to develop new crops for horticulturists in the UK. The aim is to develop a commercially viable new strain of hardy tomato that would be resistant to late-blight, the disease or organism that spells disaster for any outdoor grown tomato crop. The same organism caused potato blight that resulted in the Irish potato famine.

According to an article in The Daily Post, the work is being undertaken because of 'the difficult growing open field tasty tomatoes in the UK'. Wet summers of recent years have seen tomato blight decimating any attempts, and major commercial growers have long since given up.

David Shaw, Director of the Sárvári Research Trust, based at Abergwyngregyn in Gwynedd said:“Outdoor grown tomatoes, when you can grow them, are delicious and tasty as they’ve grown in direct sunlight.

“A new hardy variety of blight-resistant tomato could be grown locally by gardeners, allotment holders and market gardeners even in our wet climate.

“They would be grown without pesticide and so would tick all the boxes for high quality, sustainable, low- input and locally grown food.”

The Trust is developing the new hardy tomato, working with the university.

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS) PhD student James Stroud is working on the project under guidance of the Trust and a university academic supervisor, Dr Katherine Steele of the University’s School of Environment , Natural Resources & Geography, while also gaining valuable research & development skills.


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