Consumers, Cultivation/Production, Europe, UK, Ireland, Fresh/ Table, Studies/Reports, Sustainability, Trends

Britain facing potato shortage after failure to dredge rivers led to flooding, NFU says

According to a report published by The Telegraph, Britain could be facing a potato shortage after failure to dredge rivers led to flooding, the leader of the National Farmers’ Union has said, adding that water has been managed in a “disgraceful” way.

Minnette Batters, the NFU president said that she had “never seen so little winter planting in [her] working lifetime”. Many potato farmers have been unable to harvest.

The UK is entirely self-sufficient in fresh potatoes, so a shortage could cause cost rises and a lack of the vegetable in supermarkets. There will also likely be a shortage of seed for spring planting, meaning issues could continue into next year.

Ms Batters pointed out that the Environment Agency needs to work with farmers to ensure rivers are dredged and water can move across the country.

She explained: “We have got to see radical change in how we make space for water…we manage it in the most disgraceful way and we need to fix the system for food, for farmers and for people.

“We need the Environment Agency to work with us and make sure water can travel. In many parts of the UK we have too much water and many we have far too little”.

To avoid flooding causing crop shortages in future, she added that the next government needs to “make space for water”, including widening the rivers and making sure they are maintained properly.

Read the full report in The Telegraph here

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