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-    How do I know that seed potatoes are certified?

Each container of seed potatoes shall be sealed with an official self-sealing label that shows the generation and class of the seed potatoes awarded.  The intact label shall be proof of the certification status of the seed potatoes in that specific container and shall be of a type that cannot be removed or re-used without being damaged.

-    How do I know that the tuber inspection report sent with my load of seed potatoes is linked to that specific batch?

There is a unique number on each certification label attached to the certified seed potatoes. The numbers appearing on the seed batch must fall within the range indicated on the tuber inspection report.  The information on the certification label must also correlate with the generation and class awarded to that specific batch of seed potatoes.

-    What information does the tuber inspection report provide me with?

The report provides all the grower information, the document number with the certification official’s number, the Bacterial wilt-, Virus Y- and Potato Leaf Roll Virus results, post control sample numbers, all the deviations observed, the date of the tuber inspection, the generation presented and the generation certified, the number of bags certified as well as the unique range of numbers on the labels issued.

-    Where do I get the tuber inspection report of the seed potatoes that I bought?

All inspection reports can be obtained directly from the grower of the seed potatoes.

-    May Potato Certification Service supply a buyer of seed potatoes with certification reports?

Potato Certification Service may only supply information about seed potatoes with the written consent of the registered seed potato grower.

-    Who is responsible to ensure that the tuber count is correct?

It is the responsibility of the grower and is not required by the South African Seed Potato Certification Scheme.

-    Can seed potatoes be resorted?

If a lot of seed potatoes do not comply with the tolerances set for the generation it is presented as at tuber inspection, the grower can resort the batch and present it again for re-inspection.

-    Who may produce a variety with Plant Breeders’ Rights and how does the registration process work?

A seed potato grower can only produce a variety with Plant Breeders’ Rights if the owner of such a variety gives him/her the permission for the planting to be registered under the Scheme. Potato Certification Service cannot give permission for the propagation of these varieties.  Before a unit planted with a protected variety is registered, the permission for propagation is verified by PCS and only then the unit will be registered.

-    Is there a minimum time in which seed potatoes need to be certified after harvest?

There is no rule to have seed potatoes certified in a set time.  The seed potato grower can decide when to present his/her seed potatoes for certification.

-    As a seed potato grower, will I be able to obtain my seed potato production history?

Seed growers can in writing request their production history from the regional Potato Certification Service office.

-    Where can I buy certified seed potatoes?

Certified seed of varieties with Plant Breeders’ Rights can be obtained from the owners or the appointed agents of the particular variety.  Seed can also be obtained from seed potato growers directly or from seed traders.  The Seed Potato Traders’ Forum has a Code of Conduct.  Members of the Seed Potato Traders’ Forum are listed on the website.   Potato Certification Service does not sell or market seed potatoes.

-    Why do I need to buy certified seed potatoes?

Certified seed potatoes were produced, sampled, examined and sealed in accordance with the rules and regulations of the South African Seed Potato Certification Scheme and complied with the requirements of the Scheme on the day of sealing.  As the grower knows the disease status of the seed, the risk associated with planting a vegetatively propagated crop is minimized.  The planting of uncertified seed is strongly discouraged as the practice could lead to crop failure and infestation of soils with pathogens which will negatively impact on sustainable potato production.

-    How many potato varieties are currently produced in South Africa?

Since July 2010, 191 different varieties/breeding lines were registered under the South African Seed Potato Certification Scheme.  The National Variety List as maintained by the Registrar of Plant Improvement consists of 84 varieties.


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