Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey, Vahit Kirisci announced that quarantine was implemented in 26 provinces in 2022 due to potato wart disease.
The support given to farmers who could not plant potatoes due to quarantine was halted in 2021.
CHP Niğde Deputy Ömer Fethi Gürer said that necessary research should be done to prevent the disease and that the damage suffered by the farmers should be compensated.
Ömer Fethi Gürer:
"What is the extent of the cultivation area restrictions in 2022, that started in 2004 after the discovery of potato wart? How many provinces do not plant potatoes due to the disease? What is the extension and current status of of the organism that causes wart damage? Farmer training on potato wart. Is it given?"Quarantine measures in 26 provinces
Responding to Gürer's parliamentary question, the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Vahit Kirişci announced that as of 2022, quarantine measures were implemented in 26 provinces because of potato wart disease. Kirisci stated that in the last 5 years, 1200 training and extension activities were organized on potato and potato wart, and that 15 thousand farmers participated in these training sessions.
The support given to farmers who survived disease was halted in 2021
According to the activity report of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, no compensation payments were made in 2021 to settle the claims of potato producers, affected by quarantine due to potato wart.
Ömer Fethi Gürer:
"Potato wart disease, which is found in 25 provinces in our country, is a type of fungus and causes warts similar to cauliflower on the stem and stem of the plant. People also refer to it as potato cancer. It can be transported with the soil, so it can be transferred to other areas and the fungus that causes the disease can stay dormant for 38 years."
"Therefore, planting is not done in areas with this disease. Until 2021, the government provided support to farmers who suffered from potato wart disease and had problems."
Potato wart disease can be transferred by seed potatoes brought into Turkey, like the Mediterranean fly. Therefore, it causes serious product losses. In our country, the potato was grown at 6.5 million tons in 1999, but it decreased to 5 million 100 thousand tons last year. Nigde is considered the homeland of potatoes.
Production in Nigde decreased from 830 thousand tons to 520 thousand tons due to the fact that the product produced in 2020 did not find value, remained in storage, and nearly 100 thousand tons of potatoes had to be disposed of.
One of the most important dangers in Turkey is the loss of crops caused by plant diseases. The measures taken to eliminate these are not enough. In this context, the problem is serious, more research should be done to prevent this disease.
In addition, subsidies must be given to the farmers who are victims of the disease, and the damage they have suffered when they plant different products on that land should be compensated.
Potato wart is a plant disease that poses no threat to human health or food safety. However, it does impact the economic return for potato growers by reducing yield and making potatoes unmarketable.