Potato cultivation is being threatened by many seed and soil based bacteria, said head of an agricultural pest control in Turkey said on the first day of a symposium looking at organisms harmful to the vegetable.
"Potatoes are reproduced from tubers," said Chairman of Research Institute of Agricultural Pest Control Suat Kaymak.
"For this reason, many seed and soil based bacteria, along with fungal and viral factors, bugs, nematodes and primitive herbs, are threatening the potato cultivation."
Kaymak noted that 324 million tons of potato is produced in more than 125 countries a year.
He said four and a half million tons of potato is produced annually in Turkey, underlining the importance of potato's role in both imports and exports.
"Human health is maintained by protecting the environment and biological diversity," said Kaymak.
"In the rational fight against the pests harming the economical products, biologic, ecologic and economic factors need to be considered."
Kaymak said that there are more than 100 disease types with 60 of them being harmful in potato production. The rise and changes in insect activities gained importance due to phytoplasmas and global warming, Kaymak added.
Composed of experts, researchers and speakers from different countries, the symposium, hosted by Plant Protection Central Research Institute, will end on the 7th of November 2013.