Representatives of the governments of the Canary Islands and Spain, as well as the primary sector, are analyzing the possibility of importing potatoes from areas of the United Kingdom that have not been affected by the potato beetle epidemic, but only if there are full phytosanitary guarantees.
President of the Cabildo of Gran Canaria insists there is no potato shortage: ‘It’s a fake controversy’
Agriculture Minister Narvae Quintero and Canary Islands Government Delegate Anselmo Pestana met with representatives of COAG Canarias, Asaga Canarias, UPA and Palca to address the potato supply problem due to the discovery of this pest. United kingdom.
As the Ministry reported, the possibility of importing potatoes from the United Kingdom was not addressed unless full phytosanitary guarantees were available for the Canary Islands, as most of British territory is free of this beetle and work is being done to confirm this situation. .
Narvay Quintero explained that the priority is to prevent this pest from entering the Canary Islands, “because its effects will be much more harmful than the situation we are currently experiencing with the lack of this tuber.”
If communications with the British government are successful in order to certify the shipments, the executive authority in the Canary Islands “will inform the Ministry, which is the competent authority in this matter, to study the entry of this tuber from unaffected areas,” such as Northern Ireland. Or Scotland, but “provided that greater control is imposed on the departure of products destined for the Canary Islands.”
The Ministry indicated that control measures are being studied, such as washing potatoes and packing them in new bags in agricultural cooperatives, rather than in the field, and comprehensive monitoring of traceability with detailed information about their source, among other measures.
Another priority for the regional government and producers is to secure seed potatoes, most of which come from the United Kingdom and are now being sourced for planting in September and October, with the aim of producing potatoes in the territory’s Canary Islands. The next harvest is guaranteed.
According to Narvae Quintero, the Canary Islands do not suffer from a potato shortage, but there is local production and other production from countries that do not suffer from the effects of this plague, such as Egypt, Israel or Denmark. That’s why he criticizes that “there is speculation about a product like this, which is so essential to feeding canaries.”
The president of the Cabildo of Gran Canaria, Antonio Morales, also insisted that there is no shortage of potatoes. He stressed that “there is no problem with the supply of potatoes in Gran Canaria,” and attributed the high prices to a “fake controversy” and “social alarm,” which is “unconfirmed and unreal.”
In his opinion, “an attempt to enter the ship carrying containers from England” was prevented by a beetle infestation, thus “a message about the lack of supplies is being sent to the island.”