Former agriculture minister warns against importing US seed potatoes

Former Agriculture Minister Salah Youssef has warned against importing seed potatoes from the United States, as they bear mold structures that do not exist in the ones Egypt imports from Europe.

Agricultural oversight head Mohamed Refaat had said importing seed potatoes from areas in the US that are free from brown rot was permissible.

Youssef also said the US banned certain imports from Egypt to pressure it to buy its seed potatoes, but the minister stressed that agreeing to the imports was not in Egypt's best interest, as it may affect potato exports to Europe, which totaled LE1.2 billion in 2011.

He added that Egypt should diversify its import sources, and former agricultural oversight head Ali Suleiman agreed.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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