£2.2 Million new funding to safeguard Scotland's potato and bulb industries
After the Plant Health Centre led a working Group to identify a clear strategy for dealing with the Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) crisis, a report was delivered to the Scottish Government, which has led to a commitment of £2.2 Million funding over 5 years for a project that will implement the recommendations of the PCN Working Group.
This project will be coordinated through the Plant Health Centre and will involve the James Hutton Institute, Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), Biomathematics & Statistics Scotland (BioSS), Soil Essentials, Scottish Agronomy and Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA).
This funding recognises the importance of the Scottish seed potato and bulb sectors to the rural economy, annually worth £112 million and £7 million, respectively, and the growing threat of PCN to these sectors as land contaminated with PCN continues to increase.
An initial detailed economic assessment will fully investigate the financial consequences of PCN in Scotland, in addition to desk studies to better understand the information and strategies that are available to tackle it. There will be work to produce new resistant cultivars and to test other sustainable control options. The project will produce a PCN decisions support tool for the industry.
Image credit: Ulrich Zunke, University of Hamburg, Bugwood.org