Written Answers. - Potato Production.

173.

asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries the action he proposes to take to increase potato production in 1976; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

With a view to bringing more stability into potato production, my Department have operated a scheme since 1973 under which potato producers have been guaranteed a minimum price each year for ware potatoes of suitable quality. The recent position of low supplies of potatoes has been mainly due to low yields caused by abnormal weather conditions, early digging of maincrop ware potatoes and losses through tuber blight.

The high prices received by potato producers in recent years should be a sufficient inducement for an increase in production of potatoes in 1976.

Question No. 174 postponed.