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Suggestions that the Government and, more particularly the Internal Marketing Division, were responsible for the present acute shortage of potatoes were refuted by Mr. A. H. Honeyfield, Auckland manager of the division, in an interview this morning.

"At no stage has the Marketing Department been responsible for the producing, marketing or distribution of potatoes or onions," said Mr. Honeyfield. "This has been solely the job of the Food Controller and the Grain and Produce Merchants' Federation. Until a few days ago, when it was announced that we would be importing potatoes from Australia to relieve the shortage, we had nothing to do with it." Mr. H6neyfield said the production and distribution of potatoes would in future be undertaken by the Marketing Department in collaboration with the merchants, who would be asked to make direct contracts with the growers. The new organisation'would govern supplies of both local and imported potatoes and the Marketing Department was now engaged in arranging details of the 1346 programme, which envisaged the growing of between 30,000 and 35,000 acres throughout the Dominion. It was hoped to secure an average of four or five tons to the acre and provision would be made for possible losses through climatic conditions and other causes.

He added that as a result of the continual rains in the south, cropping this season was down to about two tons to the <acre. Of next season's supplies some 50,000 'tons would be allocated to the American forces in the Pacific. It was estimated that the yield would cover the requirements next year of both New Zealand civilians and of the ai'med forces in the Pacific.

"We have seen in films and read about what the Americans are doing in the fight against Japan," said Mr. Honeyfield, "and no right-thinking person would suggest that we should not do our utmost to ensure that our contracts with the Americans are fully maintained. We are still at war and food production is now probably the greatest of our war jobs." Mr. Honeyfield added that the seed potato position was uncertain, but they were planning on the assumption that adequate seed would be available.

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Bibliographic details

POTATO FAMINE, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 168, 18 July 1945

Word Count

POTATO FAMINE Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 168, 18 July 1945

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