Research aims to maintain rise in Scottish blueberry production

Scotland's environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham has backed research at the James Hutton Institute aimed at boosting blueberry production north of the border.

Image: Association PeupleLoup (CC-BY-SA 2.0)
Image: Association PeupleLoup (CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Part of a programme of Scottish Government funded research, the project aims to produce blueberry plants that are more suited to the Scottish climate.

"Traditionally blueberries are imported to Scotland but this innovative research we are funding is using new technology to develop plants that are more suitable for the Scottish soil and climate as well as helping us to fully understand the health benefits of this fruit," Cunningham said.

Already the amount of blueberries grown in Scotland has increased by 10 per cent in the last year.

"This should help boost local production of this fruit – which is better for the environment and also good news for our economy," she added.

Leader of the JHI blueberry breeding programme Julie Graham said: "Cutting-edge plant breeding technology is enabling us to develop new blueberry cultivars which should enable an increase in the home-grown blueberry crop, benefitting Scottish soft fruit growers. Long-term funding from the Scottish Government has been instrumental in this."

Further research at the University of Aberdeen's Rowett institute for Nutrition and Health have shown that drinking a concentrated berry extract significantly lowers glucose levels after eating, suggesting a way to manage and even prevent type-2 diabetes.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Raised levels of investment in horticulture education and increased student take-up is welcome news for the industry, says Rachel Anderson.

How will reduced apple and pear harvests hit the industry?

How will reduced apple and pear harvests hit the industry?

This spring, many top-fruit growers in the UK and across Europe were dismayed to discover that swathes of their orchards had been hit by frost.

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

Upcoming reforms to water abstraction licensing will for the first time cap the amount of water that fruit growers can take for trickle irrigation.