§ Rev. Ian Paisley
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proposals he has to help potato producers in Northern Ireland to market their produce better.
§ Mr. Ancram
The Department has an ongoing programme of advice to both the seed and ware sectors of the industry. Officers are made available on secondment to trading organisations to liaise with farmers to improve the marketability of their ware potatoes. Officers work with farmers and wholesalers to improve the health, quality and general marketability of seed potatoes. The Department's ad hoc advisory staff, research and development facilities and market development staff are available and regularly used by growers.
Financial support may be available under the group marketing grant scheme, which is designed to encourage the development of commercially managed marketing groups for agricultural and horticultural produce.