The area of seed potato crops for certification in Ireland increased to 299 hectares in 2021, helping to fill a gap left by a Brexit ban on imports from non-EU countries. This was a 29% increase in Irish seed potato production, over the previous five years, as Stephen Cadogan reports for the Irish Examiner.
The average area of seed potatoes certified in Ireland for the years 2016 to 2020 was 231 hectares, ranging from 203 hectares in 2019 to 253 in 2016. Over the same period, the quantity of seed potato certified by the Department of Agriculture ranged from 2,123 tonnes in 2020 to 3,308 tonnes in 2016.
In the same years, between 2,990 (in 2016) and 4,015 tonnes (in 2020) of seed potato were imported from Scotland.
But with a reduction in imports due to Brexit, Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue said his officials are monitoring the area of Irish seed potato crops to be entered for certification in 2022. In the Dáil, he promised that his department will make adequate staff resources available for inspection and certification of seed potato crops, if there is another significant increase in the area of seed potatoes entered for certification in 2022.
Source: Irish Examiner. Read the full story here
Photo: Minister says adequate staff resources will be available for inspection and certification of seed potato crops | Courtesy Denis Boyle via the Irish Examiner