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Georgia Bans Import of Potatoes from Turkey

Georgia’s Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture stated that they have banned potato imports from Turkey until July 2018 to eliminate the spread of “potato cancer” on Georgian territory.

The relevant decree was signed by the Georgian Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvli.

The Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Levan Davitashvili, stated that prohibition of potato imports from Turkey for several months is a temporary sanitary measure.

“This is a sanitary measure which is relevant to the International Convention on Plant Protection and the Georgian legislation,” the Minister said.

Davitashvili explained that Georgian farmers are planting potatoes now, and they need maximum protection from the state, in order to avoid potato diseases and produce a plentiful harvest, like last year.

Potato cancer is a serious disease, caused by a soil-borne fungus, Synchytrium endobioticum. It is an obligate parasite, which does not produce mycelium but an abundance of dissemination sporangia which are responsible for tumor formation on underground potatoes. These sporangia produce zoospores, dissemination and infection.

This fungus can survive for up to 30 years in the soil in the form of a cyst called survival spores.

Source: Georgian Today

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