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Volume 979: debated on Thursday 21 February 1980

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will announce the support arrangements to apply for the 1980 potato crop and his proposals for the longer term.

As negotiations are continuing on proposals for an EEC potato regime, it is still too early to say what arrangements will apply for the coming maincrop potato season. Failing agreement in time for an EEC regime to apply to the 1980 crop, however, a guranteed price will be fixed for 1980–81. Further consideration is being given to the support measures which might be required in the longer term. Meanwhile, I trust that potato growers will follow the guidance on plantings issued by the Potato Marketing Board, and in particular take note of its chairman's warning about the dangers of over-planting.