During the month of November, the price of potatoes in the Syrian market has increased by more than 300%, reaching 450 SYP (about 0.77 Euro).
Syrian economist Fares al-Abdullah confirmed that potato prices continue to rise, as they did not exceed 150 SYP (0.26 Euro) per kilo a month ago, and are likely to exceed 500 SYP (0.86 Euro) in the short term.
Abdullah mentions two reasons for the rising prices: the decline in the production this year, and the export of potatoes to Jordan, Iraq and Russia without a prior study on the needs of the domestic market.
Agricultural engineer Yahya Tanari told "The New Arab" that potatoes are grown in Syria during three periods. The first one lasts between 15 January and 15 February, the second takes place in March and April, and the last one between 15 July and 15 August.
Tanari, who lives in rural Idlib, estimates that the country needs about 600,000 tons per year, but production in the areas controlled by the Bashar al-Assad regime in particular declined during the autumn due to higher production costs from cold storage, fuel prices and wages. Moreover, there was reluctance from some producers in the villages of Damascus and Hama, the most productive areas, because of losses last year, as the price failed to cover the production costs.
Meanwhile, after 4 thousand tons were exported to Turkey, the price of potatoes in the liberated areas has risen to about 200 SYP (0.34 Euro) per kilo, which has had an impact on local consumption.