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World Potato Congress: ‘Africa could displace North America as the third largest potato producer’

The world’s potato production growth stagnated in 2018 and couldn’t recover in 2019, according to a recent statement by the World Potato Congress (WPC).

It is said that in total, 368,247,000 tons were produced in 2018, according to FAO. Even so, it was the third-highest production after 2017 and 2014.

FAO estimated that 158 countries for which it has data cultivated 17,580,000 hectares in 2018, i.e. 7.9% less than in 2017 (9,099,000 hectares). The biggest adjustments took place in China and Russia.

It is further estimated that China cultivated 4,813,000 hectares were cultivated in 2018 (1% less than in 2017) and produced 90,321,000 tons of potatoes, far from its 200 million tons goal.

The report highlights that Ukraine became the second-largest producer in the world (after India), displacing Russia, which cultivated 22,395,000 tons of potatoes in 2018 on 1,313,000 hectares. The FAO also highlighted the growth of France by 25,000 hectares and the largest production in Canada.

Thus, it estimates that the yield fell by 1.2% in 2018 due to a large drop in performance in the EU as a result of the drought that year.

The only continent that saw an increase in its potato plantations in 2018 was Africa (3.3% to 1,904,000 hectares), which could displace North America in 2020 as the third-biggest potato producer.

More than half of the world’s potatoes were grown in Asia in 2018, while Europe accounted for 30% of the production.

Read the full article on FreshPlaza here

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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