Like human beings and animals, plants are subject to diseases. In order to maintain a sufficient food supply for the world's population, it is essential for those involved in plant growth and management to find ways to combat plant diseases capable of destroying crops on a large scale. There are more than 50 000 diseases that are associated with plants.
Since 1990 Plantovita has played an important role in the identification and detection of harmful and specific diseases for both the potato and dry bean industries. Planting material presented for certification is tested by Plantovita for the presence of specific bacterial, fungal and virus diseases. The object of these investigations is to determine whether the planting material submitted, complies with the disease tolerances as prescribed in the respective certification schemes. The benefit of these tests entails the detection and quantification of harmful diseases which may occur in seed material, even latently.
Plantovita is registered with the Department of Agriculture in terms of the Plant Improvement Act, 1976 and managed in accordance with prescribed control measures. The laboratory enjoys the approval of the Independent Certification Council for Seed Potatoes for the detection of specific diseases on seed-lots presented for certification. Plantovita is one of five testing laboratories in the potato industry and fulfils the unique and valuable role as the controlling laboratory of the potato industry.
Why a controlling laboratory?
In an industry there should be a centre of expertise controlling the consistency of the tests performed by different laboratories and operators by means of scientific procedures, standardisation and training. In the case of the potato industry this is necessary for the effective implementation and credibility of the South African Seed Potato Certification Scheme.
Did you know?
Potatoes first arrived in Spain from South America in 1570 and slowly spread to the rest of Europe during the late 1500s. But the potato didn’t receive a warm welcome and was regarded with suspicion, distaste and fear and was considered to be unfit for human consumption. Peasants refused to eat the ugly misshapen tubers produced by a plant originating from a heathen civilization Read more...