The phytosanitary inspectors have detected 1,100 tons of potatoes imported from Egypt, and have banned the sell in the country via the port of Constanta, because they are contaminated with Ralstonia solanacearum and there is a risk of contamination of the soil and the surface water, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR) has announced on Tuesday.
The ministry says that no contaminated potatoes have reached the Romanian shops, the entire quantity being stopped in the port, capital.ro reports.
“The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, through the National Phytosanitary Authority, is highly exigent for the protection of Romania against the introduction and spread of quarantine organisms harmful for plants or plant products in Romania. The phytosanitary activity is aimed at preventing the introduction of harmful organisms into areas where they are not present, at diminishing the areas of spreading and eradicating the harmful organisms,” MADR informs in a press release.
The potato samples were taken on the basis of the European Commission decision dated November 29, 2011 authorizing the Member States to take provisional measures against the spread of the bacterium of Ralstonia solanacearum (Smith) Yabuuchi, originating in Egypt.
According to MADR data, Romania’s potato production increased by 16.3% to 3.129 million tonnes in 2017 due to an increase of the yield per hectare, although the cultivated area decreased by 7.7% during the previous year to 168,000 hectares, down from 182,000 hectares.
In terms of consumption, Romania ranks on one of the top positions in Europe, with an annual average consumption of over 92 kilograms per capita.