MP speaks up for seed potato farmers who may suffer extreme losses due to flooding
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EASTER Ross MP, Jamie Stone has urged the Minister for Farming, Fisheries and Food to offer support for seed potato farmers who could suffer extreme losses to their crops.
Seed potato production accounts for 14 per cent of the UK's croppable potato area and seed exports generate approximately £42 million in income per year. The UK exports seed potatoes to 50 countries worldwide.
Mr Stone said: "Having spoken to farmers in my constituency, I am greatly concerned that their ground is already soaking wet and that these floods could have a detrimental impact on our seed potato stock. You simply cannot leave potatoes immersed in water for any length of time. Considering that it costs £4000 to plant only one acre of seed potatoes, this flood could cost dearly.
"And it's not just the short-term consequences to worry about. If the flooding destroys the crop this year, this will have a knock-on effect on next year's yield. This could be a food security issue that the Scottish Government should be taking very seriously, which is why I was surprised to see that none of the SNP members thought to raise this [today]."