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Brexit seed ban could lead to shortage for Irish potato industry

Brexit seed ban could lead to shortage for Irish potato industry

Post-Brexit ban on importing seeds potatoes from Britain could affect Irish famers’ ability to grow potato crops, the Government has been warned.

Traditionally, Irish farmers have sourced seed potatoes from the UK due to a lack of domestic seed potato industry. Conditions in Britain help the growth of disease-free seed potatoes.

Following Brexit, seed potatoes can no loner be exported from Britain to the European Union as phytosanitary regulations are different.

Irish farmers have been concerned that bringing in seed potatoes from European countries will increase the risk of importing diseases such as brown rot. 

Scottish seed potato producer John K Lind has written to the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue highlighting the devastation that diseases can have on a crop.

“Viruses can devastate yields and quality, just as blight did then. This is possibly even riskier when you consider the possible effects of climate change,” he said.

Mr Lind revealed his company provided the seed potatoes for popular Irish varieties including British Queen, Record, Kerr’s Pink and Golden Wonder. 

He confirmed these varieties were already in the ground as they were in the pipeline for distribution in Ireland.

“The cost to us of the one-year loss that we will incur this year will be small compared to the collective losses possibly accrued by the Irish growers over the following four years,” he concluded.

LSL News.

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