Canada: `No Quick Opening'

Published online: Sep 19, 2001
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Canadian Agriculture Minister Lyle Vanclief told seed growers they should not expect a quick opening of the Mexican border to PEI and New Brunswick seed potatoes.

"We will work toward settlement with Mexico but we cannot guarantee anything for this year's crop," he said.

PEI's Minister of Agriculture Mitch Murphy sympathized with growers who have experienced the potato wart problem along with a drought this summer.

Murphy reminded them how government is trying to help, by beginning to develop consultations to deal with regulations for the mandatory crop rotation program; also, by considering a transition program to help older growers ease out of the industry while helping younger growers ease their way in.

Murphy also noted there is hope ahead because the PEI program to reduce virus levels in seed is working. He said growers should vow never to let virus levels rise to those before the program started.