Europe, UK, Ireland, Seed, Trade/Markets/Prices

Irish potato industry could be mashed by Brexit seed ban, Minister told

Irish farmers’ ability to grow their potato crops could be affected by the post-Brexit ban on importing seed potatoes from Britain, the Government has been warned. Cormac McQuinn reports for The Irish Times.

In a letter to Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue, Scottish seed potato producer John K Lind asked if politicians have “forgotten” the Famine as he outlined the devastation that diseases can cause to a crop.

In the absence of a major domestic seed potato industry here, Irish farmers have traditionally sourced much of the seed potatoes they use from Scotland. The climate there aids the growth of disease-free seed potatoes.

Brexit means that seed potatoes can no longer be exported from Britain to the European Union as phytosanitary regulations are not aligned.

Mr Lind, a partner at J&WF Lind in Aberdeenshire, wrote to Mr McConalogue to raise his concern at the situation. He wrote: “It seems incredible that politicians could choose to act politically instead of practically, considering the importance of potatoes, being the staple of the Irish population’s diet. …Are the politicians ready to take responsibility for the consequences of losses in the Irish domestic potato supply?”

Source: The Irish Times. Read the full story here
Picture: The Irish Times
Related news: Post-Brexit: Ag minister expects growth in Ireland’s seed potato sector

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