Motives and incentives for importing

Jane McGary
Wed, 28 Jan 2009 10:51:49 PST
Thank you to Ellen Hornig for her reasoned and articulate summary.

Here are some other things to think about.

1. If small importers and private consumers were able to work through 
agents who could batch orders and enjoy the same response time with 
inspectors as large importers do, it would add to the cost for the 
small/private importers but might make the system work more efficiently.

2. Many of the plants being imported actually are present in the 
United States already, but the importers don't know it. Better 
sharing of information, particularly about plants held in very small 
nurseries or private collections that are willing to trade, might 
make some importation unnecessary. This is the motive behind my own 
annual bulb surplus sale (which will move to a commercial nursery in 
a couple of years), where people can obtain plants they would 
otherwise be buying from Paul Christian in the UK or other overseas suppliers.

3. Particularly of importance to bulb enthusiasts, we should 
encourage the importation of seeds rather than bulbs. This 
drastically reduces the chances of importing pathogens and pests, and 
it also allows US growers to raise diverse clones and select those 
most suited to their particular environmental conditions. Seeds can 
withstand delays at inspection stations better than plants and bulbs 
can, and they are less expensive.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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