- ‘We don’t want this problem again next year,’ M.L.A. says.
- On November 21, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency banned exports of P.E.I. potatoes to the United States and Puerto Rico after potato wart was seen in two fields.
- It stayed till April 1.
Fields where potato wart has been seen, should be taken ever out of any agricultural production, a P.E.I. legislative committee is urging.
It also implies trees planted on the land, known as index fields.
Montague-Kilmuir M.L.A. Cory Deagle, chair of the standing committee on natural resources and environmental sustainability, said the proposal comes after eight meetings with farm leaders, regional government representatives, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
In November, the CFIA set a prohibition on exports of P.E.I. potatoes to the United States and Puerto Rico after potato wart was seen in two fields. The prohibition lasted till April 1, costing growers millions of dollars in lost income.
“We don’t want this problem to happen again the following year where, you know, we head into the same thing next fall,” Deagle stated.
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“It’s difficult. It’s not only as simple as, you know, taking all those fields out of production.
Multiple different problems would have to be worked out in that. And I think everyone realizes that. We all have the same plan that we don’t want our potato industry closed down again.”
It’s yet unclear how the fields will be taken out of production. Deagle said it’s vital that growers and farm leaders be consulted.
With potato planting underway in the region, there’s nothing to prevent the index fields from being made again this year.
The CFIA told the regional committee that there have been discussions with the region on taking the fields out of “any kinds of farming production.”
Source – cbc.ca