Crowd funding to support GM-free blight resistant potatoes – yes, but how?

20 Sep

The Fresh Produce Journal and other sources are reporting a ‘crowd funding’ appeal by the Sárvári Research Trust, featured here in August, which is planning an addition to its promising line of non-GM blight-resistant Sárpo potatoes, suited to smallholdings and low-input systems.

Existing Sárpo lines have been successfully exported as far afield as Pakistan and Saint Helena, but other stocks need to undergo testing for a place on the national list – a legal requirement before new varieties can enter the market.

“Plant breeders are paying, paying, paying,” Sárvári Trust’s David Shaw told FPJ, though a commercial launch is still a long way off. The trust is appealing to the wider public to raise £5,000 that will meet laboratory fees for a two-year testing programme. For more information see the

GM Watch points out that the UK’s John Innes Centre has received £1.7 million in public funding to develop GM-free blight resistant potatoes and Sarvari have received absolutely nothing for its breeding work.

Pete Riley of GM Freeze writes: “So far Sarvari has five varieties with very good resistance to the current strains of blight in the UK which are all prefixed with Sarpo (Mira, Axona, Shona, Una and Gwen). In the worst year in living memory for late blight, my three Sarpo varieties on my allotment – Mira, Axone, and Shona – have come through and are still putting on leaf growth.”

The Buzzbnk link was used but the writer was directed towards supporting Buzzbnk. Recourse to the Sarvari website offered no simple solution.

Many readers will have successfully donated – advice please! Which button should be pressed?



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