Written Answers. - Imported Vegetables.

41.

asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food in view of the current volume of imports of horticultural products especially frozen vegetables at below cost prices, to the detriment of Irish produce if he will make an approach to fruit and vegetable importers requesting them to support Irish produce where possible; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

While the volume of imports of frozen vegetables in the first quarter of this year was virtually unchanged from the corresponding period, of last year, imports of fresh vegetables were down by about 25 per cent and imports of ware potatoes by almost 50 per cent.

Prices of horticultural products fluctuate in accordance with supply and demand, but there is no information available to me to indicate any abnormally low priced imports.

One of the main objectives of An Bord Glas is, of course, to encourage increased output of horticultural products so as to reduce import requirements. The interim board is already giving active attention to this matter.