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Potato wart ban expected to ‘last into new year’, fears of potatoes being destroyed

Prince Edward Island’s agriculture minister says he is still hopeful potatoes in limbo won’t have to be destroyed, but indications suggest restrictions on Island spuds will last into the new year.

As Shane Ross and Yakosu Umana report for CBC News, Bloyce Thompson made the comments during a news conference Friday announcing financial assistance to help the potato industry and trucking companies affected by trade restrictions to the U.S. “Everything’s on the table,” he said. “We want to do everything possible so we don’t have to destroy potatoes.”

The provincial government announced a program that will provide potato farmers with working or capital loans with a fixed interest rate of four per cent. The government will also help the Island potato industry and affected trucking companies with wage reimbursements to employers to maintain their staff during the restrictions.

The P.E.I. Potato Board has said the ban could lead to millions of kilograms of potatoes being destroyed, and that it’s already too late for producers to recoup lost sales. There’s a possibility that potatoes will need to be dumped if there is no market to sell them in, general manager of the P.E.I. Potato Board Greg Donald said.

Source: CBC News. Read the full story here
Photo: Agriculture Minister Bloyce Thompson and Economic Development Minister Matthew MacKay announce funding support for the P.E.I. potato industry during a news conference Friday.  Courtesy CBC

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