Brexit might revitalise Irish seed potato sector

One of the key messages delivered -courtesy of the second Spring Tillage Webinar- was that Ireland’s seed potato sector might see some advantages from the whole Brexit situation. It might arise from the fact that Scottish seed can no longer be brought on to the island of Ireland, as a result of post-Brexit phytosanitary regulations imposed by Brussels. In future, it might be that Irish producers will be reliant on home-produced seed to meet their needs.

Potato industry representatives are now urging ware and seed growers to come together in a co-ordinated manner in order to ensure that the overall production needs of the Irish potato industry are met in the most efficient way possible. It seems that the option of Irish ware growers sourcing seed from mainland Europe is not a runner, because of the disease risks associated with this practise.

Teagasc is the state agency providing research, advisory and education in agriculture, horticulture, food and rural development in Ireland. Its economists have confirmed that the actual Brexit trade deal struck will not be as impactful on Ireland’s tillage sector as had previously been envisaged. New economic projections for the industry are now being complied. They will be available over the coming weeks.


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