Spain (A Limia): Half of potato harvest still unsold

“In terms of sales, A Limia’s potato campaign has so far been one of the worst on record. If this year the situation remains similar as that of the 2014/15 season, I can guarantee that 60% of A Limia’s growers will abandon their productions,” says Servando Álvarez, of the Instituto Galego do Campo. A summary of what a number of agricultural unions have been saying the past few weeks. “It’s a disastrous campaign; we can say with certainty that approximately 50% of A Limia’s potato production is in storage because prices hit rock bottom,” says José Ramón González, of Unións Agrarias.

In view of what is happening this year, Union officials are now asking for strategic policies to be implemented, similar to those in Castile-Leon, which has guaranteed a minimum price for its producers the past two years.

The current situation is unsustainable, confirmed by both Unións Agrarias and Instituto Galego do Campo. They are of the opinion that current market prices, which range between four and seven cents per kilo, compared to the usual 12 cents or more, do not cover production costs; not even 30% of the investment. Servando Álvarez explains that “a grower with between 15 and 20 hectares will have lost between 50,000 and 60,000 Euro this year.”

José Fernández, a producer from Trandeiras, who had an annual production of 1,200,000 kilos of potatoes, says he still has about 500,000 kilos in storage, waiting to be sold. Fernandez notes that competition from producers in other regions has increased “because of the Russian veto, resulting in supply exceeding demand.”

Source: La Región

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