Published: 07/03/2015 07:45 - Updated: 07/03/2015 08:10

Tatties galore as North Kessock sets the stage for Potato Day!

Variety: Salad Blue and Kerrs Pink potatoes
Variety: Salad Blue and Kerrs Pink potatoes

THERE will be tatties galore at the North Kessock Village Hall today (Saturday) when Transition Black Isle hosts its annual Potato Day.

More than 60 varieties of potatoes including Shetland Black, Salad Blue or Highland Burgundy Red will be on offer from 11am to 1pm and again from 1.30pm to 3pm.

Now is the perfect time to buy seed potatoes and tubers will be just 15p each.

With lots of information about each variety the Potato Day event will be the place to find out how to get the best results from your crop and which varieties to go for.

Soup and baked potatoes, teas and coffees will be available, and there will be a seed swap stall too. Entry is £1 (TBI members and under 16s free) and shoppers are encouraged to bring their own bags.

You can find out more here.

SEED potato exports are booming with the latest figures indicating that 2014/15 has been a record-breaking season.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said this week: “These are fantastic figures for the seed potato industry. Scottish seed potatoes are exported to more than 25 countries outside of the EU — something that comes on the back of our high plant health status and world-wide reputation as a producer of quality seed.”

Scotland’s reputation for high plant health standards was reinforced even further recently when Colin Jeffries of Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) led an international team, which has produced an agreed method for detection of potato spindle tuber viroid, on behalf of the UN.

Potato spindle tuber viroid is a plant disease currently not found in Scotland – the team’s method will both help to keep the disease out of the country, and help facilitate international trade.

Mr Lochhead added: “The development of these diagnostic protocols takes a long time, requires infinite patience, attention to detail, scientific expertise and the ability to negotiate with both the expert team selected to draft the document, and the many experts from around the world who commented on the various drafts.

“My congratulations go to Colin on leading such a prestigious project and I look forward to seeing the method in action and how it will impact international trade.”

The Scottish seed potato sector is valued at around £80-100 million, with 75 per cent of UK seed potato production taking place in Scotland and 80 per cent of UK seed potato exports coming from Scotland.

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