For a long time, Ukrainian potato producers could not export their products, which negatively affected the industry. Oksana Ruzhenkova, director of the Association of Potato Producers of Ukraine, said this during a press conference, UA Voice reports.
She recalled that the year 2018 in the EU was quite arid, and therefore the potato yield was lower. In fact, it was a good chance for the country to enter the European market. According to her, potato producers appealed to the State Consumer Service of Ukraine with a request to write a letter to the European Commission with a request to allow the export of tubers to the EU to break the 20-year blockade. By the way, a similar letter to the EC was sent from Belarus.
“However, the answer to both countries was the same - first harmonize national legislation with European one, and only then will we allow it to be done. Belarus reacted rather harshly, closing its market for European potatoes. And from September 1, 2019, European seed potatoes ceased to be imported into the country, and a program for the development of their own selection is working in Belarus. We were left alone with our problems, ”said Oksana Ruzhenkova.
According to her, in June 2019, completely unexpectedly, they received a letter from the State Consumer Service, which announced the proposal of the European Commission to make a pilot and enter the EU market.
“We were sent a list of quarantine organisms for which enterprises should be checked. We assembled a test group of seven farms that were tested on 1 thousand hectares of industrial plantings. Today we have two farms that are ready to export to the EU, the rest are in the process, ”the expert said, adding that other producers are also pulling up and preparing to enter the European market.