A Kilkenny company specialising in clean plant technology is aiming to help develop and grow the Irish seed potato industry. As a result of Brexit, the EU has banned the importation of seed potato from the UK to Ireland under its plant health legislation.
As Aisling O’Brien reports for Agriland, FitzGerald Nurseries was established in the 1990s and producing young plants has remained its focus ever since. Five years ago, Pat FitzGerald, the managing director of FitzGerald Nurseries, felt that Brexit had “started to look like a train wreck”.
Given his work in exporting plants, FitzGerald could see that the importation of seed potato from the UK to Ireland would be banned by the EU and he put preparations in place for the company to produce potato mini tubers.
Last year, FitzGerald Nurseries was certified by the DAFM to produce pre-basic tissue culture mini tubers. The company gets certified virus-free tissue cultures from the department’s laboratory in Raphoe and then multiplies them in its own laboratory. FitzGerald said that the nursery has the potential to supply any variety once it is certified by DAFM as being virus-free.
Source: Agriland. Read the full story here
Photo: Champion minitubers. Image source Pat Fitzgerald