Ukraine is officially considered to be one of the three leaders in the production of potatoes, while at the same time being one of the largest importers of potatoes, due to the internal shortage of this product.
Andrey Yarmak, economist at the investment department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), said in an article: “During just one season 2019/20 (from July 2019 to June 2020 inclusive), almost half a million tons of fresh potatoes were imported for consumption, excluding seed. This makes Ukraine one of the world's largest importers of potatoes for the fresh market, because the rest of the leading importers (Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Germany) import potatoes mainly for processing or for re-export. But officially it is considered that Ukraine is one of the three largest potato producers in the world, behind China and India.”
“There is only one country in Europe where dirty potatoes with soil are sold in supermarkets. Yes, this is Ukraine. And also - the volume of sales of potatoes in supermarkets in Ukraine is less than the volume of sales of oranges. These facts are important for understanding why the "granary of Europe" in 2020 was unable to provide itself with "second bread", and even bought it not somewhere, but from Russia," the expert continued.
The FAO representative emphasized that the vast majority of Ukrainian farms that grow potatoes, even professional ones, do not have equipment for bringing potatoes to marketable appearance: for cleaning, washing, sorting, packaging lines, etc.
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