All latest monthly News, Asia, India, China, Russia, COVID-19 News, Health/Nutrition/Food Safety, News March 2020

South Koreans are coming to the rescue of the country’s coronavirus-hit potato farmers

Some people outside of South Korea may remember Gangwon province, located some 50 miles from North Korea, as the location of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. To locals, however, the cool and mountainous region is known for its firm, large potatoes that are used to produce delicacies such as dumplings and pancakes.

Demand for Gangwon’s famed potatoes, however, came crashing down this year with the coronavirus outbreak, as restaurants and school canteens around the country closed down, sapping demand for the crop.

According to an agricultural official in the provincial government who didn’t want to be named, some 11,000 tons (9,980 metric tons) of potatoes from last year’s harvest are in storage and risk rotting away if they don’t reach consumers before April. Farmers say prices have fallen to a level that allows them to make only razor-thin margins.

Provincial governor Choi Moon-soon spurred to action and put out a call on Twitter on March 11 for people to support Gangwon’s potato farmers. In partnership with the local farmers’ guild, the government launched a heavily discounted campaign online for Gangwon potatoes, offering 10 kilograms (22 lbs) of potatoes for just 5,000 won ($4), with shipping costs covered by the province. The price is less than a third of retail prices at grocery stores.

Choi’s campaign worked. The website’s server crashed on the first day the site went live on March 11, according to local media reports. The online shop later increased its maximum order capacity from 1,400 to 8,000 boxes of potatoes a day, with the goods quickly selling out again the next morning.

The potato frenzy has even spawned a new term—“pocketing,” or “potato ticketing,” referring to the competitive ordering process. Some, discouraged by their “pocketing” failures, even called on Choi to implement something akin to Korea’s national face-mask rationing program.

Even some people outside of the agriculture industry are benefiting from the potato fire sale. Kim Seong-ho, the owner of a small business in Gangwon which specializes in local dishes made from potatoes, tweeted to the governor saying his online store had a huge increase in sales a day after the potato sale started.

Read the full article on Quartz here

Stockosorb 660 from Eco+

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

[email protected]
[email protected]
Connect with me on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter
Visit Potato News Today on Facebook
Find us on Tumblr
About us
You are most welcome to send me potato news about your company, project, organization, country and more, folks! I’d be happy to spread the word.

SoilEssentials – TuberZone


Tomra Food



Volm Companies


Receive breaking potato news in your inbox

Folks, you are most welcome to share your email address with us - and follow us - if you want to receive an email as soon as we publish a breaking news item on Potato News Today. Please be assured: We will NOT misuse or share your email address with third parties at all.

Most read stories the past 24 hours

Chips are down: Asia faces COVID-19 fries shortage
Lamb Weston returns part of 2019 crop to growers
The future of drones in farming
COVID-19: Major impact on Idaho seed potato grower
World Potato Markets: Assessing a season like no other
UK: Elveden estate gets in Tuberzone precision to manage potato crops
Aussie potato growers spitting chips over European fries dumping threat
On Farm Story from New Zealand: Spud family name's on the packet
BlightCast now live and running for the 2020 potato season in the UK
Better potatoes post-harvest: Identifying diseases and engaging good management techniques

Archive of monthly posts

Loyal readers from around the world – thank you for visiting Potato News Today! Stats below…

  • 604,814