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Thailand to accept Alberta seed potatoes

Staff Writer |
Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay said a new export agreement by which Thailand will accept imports of seed potatoes produced in Alberta.

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“Alberta has a very innovative and progressive seed potato industry and is looking forward to the opportunity to grow low-virus, high-quality seed varieties requested by the Thai potato industry,” Deb Hart, seed potato co-ordinator for Potato Growers of Alberta, said in a federal government release.

The group worked with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry “to profile our seed industry to Thailand officials and to receive approval to export seed to their country,” Hart said.

Alberta, with this agreement in place, joins Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, both of which have had seed potato export agreements with Thailand since 2009. The three provinces combined produce about 76 per cent of Canada’s seed potato exports overall.

Seed potato exports from Alberta to Thailand are forecast to be worth up to $2 million per year, on top of the $5 million per year in seed potatoes already exported to Thailand from Canada on average, according to industry experts cited in the federal government’s release.

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