A lack of rainfall and high temperatures have taken their toll on the production of potatoes in the north of Cyprus. Subsequent shortages have led to soaring prices, Turkish Cypriot media said last Tuesday.
Some people call it a a ‘potato crisis’. Due to high prices in the market and the low potato yields this year, many producers seem to have started harvesting unripe potatoes to meet demand. Prices remain high, however. Last week, the price of potatoes in the north reached 25 Turkish lira (€4) per kilo.
Producers, according to reports, argue that potato production has dropped this year by 60 percent due to high temperatures and diseases. A warm winter meant losses in the spring and autumn crops.
Producers say that merchants are buying potatoes cheaply from them and preserving them in cold storage until the desired prices come up. They called for measures for the potatoes to reach the consumers straight from producers. Agriculture minister Erkut Sahali has stated that annual potato production is usually at around 16,000 tonnes, but this year, due to a lack of rainfall and the moderate winter season, the production has fallen to 6,000 tonnes.
According to cyprus-mail.com, the situation was similar to that in the south of the island. Sahali added that efforts are underway to urgently import potatoes from Turkey or third countries.