President Ersin Tatar received Engin Halkseven, President of the Cyprus Turkish Potato Producers’ Association and Member of the Administrative Board, Salih Efendi.

Presidential Advisor for Agriculture, Livestock and Entrepreneurship, Ahmet Hamdi, was also present at the meeting.

Chairman of the Cyprus Turkish Potato Producers’ Association, Engin Halkseven, stated that locally produced potatoes were exported in accordance with the provisions of the Green Line Regulation prior to the pandemic period. He said exports could not take place as a result of the absence of a phytosanitary health inspector from the European Commission due to the pandemic. He indicated that the association is ready to make the necessary applications in order to pave the way for contact-free exports and to cover financial and other losses of the producers. 

President Tatar emphasised that potatoes produced in Doğancı and the western region and especially in the Beyarmudu and south Mesarya plain villages – known as the ‘red villages’ – are of high quality.  The President said the marketing possibilities of potatoes produced in these regions should be thoroughly investigated. 

Stating that the export of potatoes was due to an initiative under the scope of the Green Line Regulation, President Tatar said it is unfortunate that this action has been interrupted.   

President Tatar stated that he is ready to take the necessary steps to tackle the difficulties on this matter, adding that he has taken note of the difficulties, he pledged to raise this issue in his meeting with the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell  Fontelles on Friday, March 5.     

President Tatar also pointed out that following the departure of the UK from the EU, initiatives could be taken to strengthen relations with the UK in the fields of trade and commerce, that would facilitate exporting locally produced potatoes to the UK.