HC Deb 20 December 1989 vol 164 cc345-6W
Dr. David Clark

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement concerning the future ownership and access to breeding material and alternative varieties of fruit at the Brogdale experimental horticulture station.

Mr. Gummer

As my noble Friend announced on 14 December, the national fruit collection is to be moved from Brogdale experimental horticulture station to Wye college. The Government will continue to provide financial support for the collection, so the collection will remain in public ownership. Detailed arrangements have yet to be finalised, but we intend that the present level of access to the collection will be maintained. This will include the provision of breeding material to, and access for, bona fide plant breeders. In addition, we expect the collection's proximity to Wye college will result in improved access for scientific and educational purposes.

Dr. David Clark

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many different plant species are currently held at the Brogdale experimental horticulture station; who has access to this material; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gummer

Some 16 species of fruit are featured at Brogdale experimental horticultural station. In total they comprise 3,800 varieties in the heritage collections, 750–800 varieties in new fruit variety trials and 75 in plant variety rights trials. Access to the material in the collections is available to the public for a small handling charge.

New variety trial information is available to growers via charged—ADAS advice.

Plant variety rights trials are confidential to the Plant Variety Rights Office and the plant breeders entering them.

Plant material from breeders at home and abroad is protected by agreements which prevent wider distribution without reference to owners.

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