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Island growers seek to export seed

Tynwald is to be asked to support measures that will enable local growers to export seed.

Until recently, there was no real export market for local seed - and no provision in Manx law for such exports.

However, local growers have now been approached by a company that wishes to export seed from the Island to the UK, Europe and beyond and have asked the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture for a change to the law to allow such a business to go ahead.

Minister Richard Ronan will bring the issue to this month's Tynwald and ask members to approve a motion extending relevant parts of UK seed law to the Island.

Mr Ronan says using this route will enable growers to take advantage of the demand for local seed quickly, whereas a change in Manx law would take longer.

Mr Ronan says initial calculations show the trade of seed could yield £60,000 a year initially .  . and as much as £300,000 once established, providing a welcome new income stream for the industry.

Vice President of the Manx National Farmers’ Union and cereal grower, David Brew says growers welcome the opportunity of being able to find and supply new niche markets – specifically seed production.

He says non-intensive cultivation practices used on the Island also lend themselves to potentially successful seed production due to the low disease incidence.


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