The Egyptian sweet potato season has started and quantities are expected to be abundant. Thanks to a very successful season in 2019, volumes are expected to be twenty to thirty per cent larger this year. The current season is not without its challenges, as the pandemic caused a lot of borders to close.
According to Shenouda Adel Azmy, CEO of Egyptian exporter Farmgistic Co., the Egyptian sweet potato season is looking quite positive: “The season of 2020 for the sweet potatoes will be different from previous years. The quantity is available and the quality is there. All of our growers this year focused on how to compete, and the great thing for us is this focus did not delay the harvesting in the slightest. Our expectation was that we would be ready to pack all the produce around the middle of July and that expectation was met. Therefore we expect a great season, despite the world issues of having to deal with the pandemic. There will be lots of challenges, due to the lock down in certain countries and demand has dropped slightly, but we have no choice but to keep going and focus on the positives.”
It’s no surprise that after the successful season of 2019, more farmers wanted in on the sweet potatoes and acreage was increased. This has led to a significant increase of volumes for Farmgistic, says Azmy. “Because of the great season last year the quantity is expected to be increased by at least 20-30% compared to the previous season. We met a lot of growers and suppliers, and all of them focused to increase their volume this year. The USA and the Honduras sweet potatoes are still available in the market, but we’re not too worried about the competition. Farmgistic Co. has only focused on getting our own quality as high as we can, to satisfy our customers in terms of produce, prices and services we provide.”
Although Farmgistic’s current markets are mainly found in Europe, Azmy has a clear goal to expand into other markets this year: “Our current main markets, where we’ve already done great business, are the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. However looking forward, we have ambition to enter new markets, like the Gulf countries and Russia. There were issues when we tried this though, like weird quality claims and payment issues. However we feel we now have a large and respectable brand, so that we can deal with larger clients in these areas now. All in all we are expecting a good start of the season. Our partners will be satisfied at all ends, from the growers, exporters to the importers and last but not least, the consumer should be satisfied as well.” He concludes.