Viernes 12 de Julio de 2024
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 Buscador de Noticias
Europa 23/02/2024

Belgica: Potato trade association warning of EU seed shortage

Belgian potato trade association is warning that the European Union is preparing for a challenging growing season in 2024 due to a decline in the availability of potato seeds.

Across the EU’s primary seed-producing nations – the Netherlands, France, Germany, Denmark, and Belgium – there has been a notable reduction in seed cultivation areas since 2022. This collective decrease amounts to 10,000 hectares, bringing the total area down to around 84,200 hectares.

Furthermore the UK remains locked out of the EU market further driving shortages of seed potatoes.’s report on the 2023 seed production cycle reveals that yields were only average. The seeds produced were larger in size, resulting in fewer tubers per plant.

Moreover, the season witnessed significant viral pressures early on, leading to a high rate of downgrading during the certification process.

Persistent rains, particularly in the Netherlands, further complicated matters by hindering the harvest of several hundred hectares.

These various factors have led to a considerable decrease in the availability of potato seed for the upcoming season. Meanwhile, demand continues to rise, particularly for processing varieties, as the European potato industry seeks to expand its cultivation area.

Consequently, seed prices are skyrocketing, affecting all sectors – from fries and chips to fresh market potatoes – and also impacting both contractual and independent commercial transactions.

Given these circumstances, potato producers in both processing and fresh sectors may find themselves compelled to explore alternative seed sources outside their usual supply chains. It is prohibited to recover undersized consumption potatoes from the previous harvest.

Cutting of seed potatoes will be widespread this year. If this is not done correctly, there is a high probability that fungal, viral, or bacterial diseases will spread quickly and widely, especially quarantine diseases.

Re-calibrating and cutting seed potatoes is always at the user’s own risk and expense.

The current seed supply shortage for the 2024 season presents significant challenges throughout the entire potato industry value chain.

Beyond immediate financial implications, it also jeopardises the yield and quality of potato production emphasised the industry-wide necessity to stabilise potato seed cultivation areas within the European Union for a sustainable future.


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