Report On Fungi In Seed Potatoes Handed Over To Minister Amaraweera


December 25, 2023


Jaffna District Office of the Department of Agriculture handed over a report. regarding the growth of fungi in a stock of seed potatoes in Jaffna to  Agriculture and Plantation Industries, Minister Mahinda Amaraweera. 

This follows the instructions by the minister to give him an immediate report regarding the incident of 21 metric tons of seed potatoes are rotten in stored in the Kuppaveli area of Jaffna.

According to it, the Deputy Director of the Agriculture Research Center in Tirunelveli has also requested to conduct an investigation in this regard. 

This stock of seed potatoes is imported from Australia and stored in Kuppiveli area of Jaffna for distribution to farmers.

However, due to not being properly stored, it has been found that a species of fungus and a species of bacteria have infected about 40 percent of the seed potato stock.

In particular, it has been revealed in the pathogenic investigations that the majority of these seed potatoes are very rotten and the fungus called Geotrichum Spp and the bacteria called Pectobacterium Carotovorum have infected those seed potatoes.

A ministry spokesman said that   in order to prevent environmental pollution, immediate disposal of spoiled seed tubers is advised under the supervision of authorized Plant Quarantine officers. . After thorough testing, release of non-infected seed potato for field planting may be considered based on national plant quarantine recommendations. 

It is recommended for that, uninfected tubers will be distributed to the farmers for field planting, and application of Thiophannate-Methyl 50%, and Thiram or a suitable fungicide should be recommended before planting,” the official stressed.

In the meantime, Minister Amaraweera, has instructed the Secretary of the Ministry, Janaka Dharmakeerthi, to take into consideration the loss caused to the government due to the failure to store these seed potatoes properly and to take into consideration the loss caused to the government by the destruction of these seed potatoes.