Purple potatoes from Hungary may prove to be the key to solving organic farming’s biggest economic obstacle; potato blight.

Scientists at Newcastle University believe that the East European variety, which was bred in Hungary prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall and is so rare that it has no name, is almost totally resistant to the fungus-like organism that causes the disease, rendering pesticides unnecessary.

Controlled tests were carried out by scientists from the university working with several agriculture research institutes from across Europe, on various strains of potato at a controlled station in Northumberland.

Co-ordinator of the research and ecological agriculture professor at Newcastle, Carlo Leifert said that the news was very important for the organic industry: “The supply of organically grown potatoes does not meet demand from consumers because blight is so prevalent […] It destroys crops worth millions of pounds each year and deters many farmers from growing potatoes because the risks are so high.”

Other potato experts are warning that it should be ensured that the resistance to blight is a long-term feature of the potatoes before they are marketed as a solution.

If they are found to the solution to potato blight the vegetables will have to under go taste tests before supermarkets will sell them.