More funds committed to fight fire blight

The Federal Agriculture Office on Saturday said it would spend an additional SFr2.5 million ($2.28 million) for research into combating fire blight.

This content was published on August 16, 2008

The Economics Ministry has promised the additional funds for four new projects over the next four years, the Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil Research Station said.

Researchers said they would seek to better understand the history and spread of the highly destructive bacterial disease, which has destroyed orchards in 21 cantons. The most affected have been Thurgau, Lucerne and St Gallen.

The research will be conducted with partners including Germany, Austria, the European Union and the United States, said Eduard Holliger, a project manager with the Federal Agriculture Office.

Around 500 communities had reported infections by mid-August. Only five Swiss cantons are reportedly free of the disease.

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