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The global impact of coronavirus on potato production: Examples and lessons learnt

One country that has routinely been in the news for their impressive handling of the outbreak is South Korea. Just as local Government across the Asian nation were able to act to address the public health impacts, they similarly acted to address the impact that social distancing had on their potato supply.

The mountainous Gangwon province in the north east of the country is known for its potatoes. However, due to the outbreak, the supply chain was significantly disrupted due to school cafeterias closing and 11,000 tons of potatoes in storage were at risk of rotting. 

Aware of the financial impact that this would have on local farmers, Gangwon Governor Choi Moon-soon launched a campaign to reach out to urban populations and sell the potatoes directly to consumers at a 50% discount with no delivery fees.

In addition to a strong social media campaign, they also included recipes with each delivery to inspire people to cook new dishes. When the website launched, it sold out within the hour and within the first two weeks, it had sold a total of 4,000 tons of potatoes.

In Canada, the closure of the hospitality sector in light of the coronavirus caused a significant threat to potato growers. 75% of Canadian potatoes are consumed in restaurants or cafes

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