Potatoes SA says it is investigating ways for South Africa to increase its production of potato chips - or French fries. This should be a win-win solution to local farmers' surpluses and the local market's high demand for chips. The research comes as local businesses have raised concerns about the supply of potatoes arid French fries in the past few weeks.
Currently, the supply of potato chips from Europe is strained, not only because of record temperatures and drought, but also because of high import tariffs that have displeased some local importers.
Potatoes South Africa, the national body that represents the potato industry, has confirmed that local potato farmers are producing a surplus of fresh potatoes for the market's needs, but not necessarily processed potatoes.
According to official numbers by Potatoes SA, Mzansi has produced 2.6 million tons of potatoes per year between 2017 and 2021. Jacobs believes that some 12 000 tons of fresh potatoes are available at fresh produce markets around the country every day.