Africa, Fresh/ Table, Most viewed stories, Trade/Markets/Prices

Potato prices soar in South Africa, but farmers still under pressure

Potatoes prices in South Africa have reached record levels for the year and are trading at 77% higher than a year ago. This week, the prices again increased, reaching ZAR81,67/10kg (approx $4.50) , Johnny van der Merwe, managing director of AM Trends, says.

As Lindi Botha reports for Farmers Weekly, although larger volumes are set to enter the market over the coming months, with prices decreasing consequently, Van der Merwe did not expect prices to go down to the same level as during the corresponding period last year.

The biggest factors contributing to the higher price is the increased load-shedding schedule, and the increase in input costs. [Load shedding in South Africa is characterized by periods of widespread national-level rolling blackouts. Editor, Potato News Today]

Meanwhile, speakers at the Potatoes South Africa (PSA) research symposium held in Parys, Free State, this week, noted that the high level of wastage in the potato industry was contributing to higher prices, and reducing profitability on farms. Lerika Potgieter, a master’s student at the University of Pretoria, said that 15% to 20% of all harvested potatoes were wasted due to visual defects.

Source: Farmers Weekly. Read the full story here
Update October 2023: Potato prices skyrocket in South Africa amid growing concerns about supply and food security
Cover image: Credit Farmers Weekly

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