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South African potato consumption doubles in 10 years

At the inaugural State of the Potato address, new Potatoes SA CEO Willie Jacobs told delegates that South Africans have eaten twice as many potatoes over the past decade.

"Despite the rising input costs, unstable weather conditions resulting from climate change, and the overall uncertainty brought about by COVID-19, our approximately 570 South African potato farmers across 16 production regions, still managed to press on to produce fresh potatoes 12 months of the year," he said.

"In 2020, South African farmers planted potatoes on approximately 51,000 hectares," he noted. "A total potato crop of 2.6 million tonnes were produced and delivered 263 million 10kg pockets of potatoes. Our per capita consumption has doubled in the last decade."

The South African potato industry employs between 50,000 to 60,000 temporary and permanent employees.

Getting more South Africans to choose potatoes
The industry body has over the past few years made it a priority to expand its consumer base in South Africa, where maize (corn) meal and bread are the most commonly consumed sources of carbohydrates.

The Covid pandemic has emphasised the important role that potatoes play in food security and poverty.

The potato price has increased by 11% to a reported average of R44.29 (2.6 euros) for a 10kg bag as the weather turns colder in South Africa. 

"In 2020, South African farmers planted potatoes on approximately 51,000 hectares," Potatoes SA says. "A total potato crop of 2.6 million tonnes were produced and delivered 263 million 10kg pockets of potatoes. Our per capita consumption has doubled in the last decade."

 


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