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Change in regulations for export of Polish potatoes

This year, the regulations governing the shipment of Polish potatoes to other EU countries have changed. At the end of April, a revised regulation of the Minister of Agriculture came into force on how to deal with and prevent the spread of Clavibacter michiganensis ssp. Sepedonicus (CMS), which causes potato ring rot.

"Due to the fact that, in recent years, there has been significant reduction in the presence of this bacterium in our country, especially in large commodity farms, the Ministry of Agriculture initiated the change of the current regulations for the shipment of potatoes from Poland to other EU countries. Poland's proposals were discussed in the EU forum and the outcome of the negotiations has been accepted, so there will be many simplifications of the current rules," said the Ministry of Agriculture in a statement.

With the new regulation, it will be possible to ship more potato tubers without having to check whether they come from a farm approved by the State Plant Protection and Seed Inspection as a CMS-free production site.

In the case of shipments of potatoes to other Member States under existing rules, the number of tubers tested will be reduced. Instead of 400 out of each 25 tonnes, only 200 pieces of potatoes will be tested, which will reduce the cost of such tests. Changes will also be made to other requirements during the shipment process.

It has also been stressed that only with the continuous improvement of phytosanitary standards in production by all growers will it be possible to further reduce the presence of CMS bacteria, which in turn will allow the complete removal of tests on Polish potatoes in the future.

The Ministry also pointed out that it is particularly important to take care of the health of the material used for planting.

According to data from the Institute of Agricultural Economics and Food Economy, exports of potatoes for direct consumption in the 2015/2016 season amounted to just 16.2 thousand tonnes, compared to 22.5 thousand in the previous season and 40.7 thousand tonnes two seasons earlier. The largest recipients were Romania, the United Kingdom and Moldova. In the opinion of experts of the Institute, the reason for such low exports is the fragmentation of production, phytosanitary problems and poor competitiveness of Polish potatoes.

Publication date: 5/16/2017


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