Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard has said that the moves by Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill to protect Irish potatoes from disease have to be welcomed.
Mr. Hazzard added: “I would like to welcome the decision by Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill to introduce stronger checks on ware potatoes entering the North from other EU states.
“At present Ireland is completely free from Potato Ring Rot and given the increased imports from countries like Poland, Romania, Spain and Portugal where this disease exists it is crucial we ensure that Ireland remains free by increasing the checks on potatoes entering the country.
“In the last year the potato crop has been severely impacted upon by extreme wet weather conditions so it we need to protect the Irish potato from any other threats if potato farmers are to survive.
“I welcome the fortress Ireland mentality being pursued by the Minister as it is important that we protect our entire agriculture industry from outside diseases.”