A consortium has secured £1.9 million of funding for student-led crop research. Tonbridge-based fruit producer Berry Gardens and NIAB EMR, formerly known as East Malling Research, teamed up to win funding for a six-year PhD scholarship programme. The project has been described as a “pioneering partnership” and will run from October next year until September 2023. The money will fund 16 students in core research areas like plant breeding, plant pathology, entomology, soil science, plant physiology and crop agronomy.
Prof John Mumford, chair of the East Malling Trust, which owns the NIAB EMR site, said: “This funding success will play an important part in delivering vital fruit-crop research and recognises the world-class expertise that exists in Kent.”
Richard Harnden, director of research at Berry Gardens, said: “This pioneering partnership between businesses, research providers and the AHDB will provide a world-class horticultural and bioscience UK research training programme. “I’m confident that the new collaborative training partnership for fruit crop research will address the scientific challenges faced by agri-businesses, from crop production, food quality and supply, through to consumer preference and reducing waste in the supply chain.”