A 3% to 5% fall is perceived in each Autumn and Spring harvest, but supply will be adequate in volume and quality.
The potato cultivation area in Uruguay has been shrinking each year by 3% to 5% and this trend will continue, at least in the upcoming harvest, said producer and agronomist Daniel Sellanes, director of the National Association of Potato seed growers (Ansepa) union which brings together producers of this area of the farm.
"For three years the crop area has been falling in each harvest, in Autumn and in Spring," he said, so it decreases twice a year.
Sellanes indicated that although there are several reasons, one stands out: "the consumption of processed and imported products like mash and chips, discourages the demand for fresh potatoes for consumption so it continues to decline."
He noted, in this regard, that it has become common for, "producers to go to the market with a new production and the market then saturates in three days."
The producer thought that "most consumers want convenience, which is not the most appropriate from the nutritional point of view, it is a road that in the United States, for example, has already been down and that after the serious issue of obesity, is now changing its direction toward a more natural food consumption, something that will have to happen here, but we do not know how long will it be delayed."
In this regard, Sellanes understands that "people lack information, we have to explain the benefits of the consumption of fresh produce." Another reason why processed products are such a hit in markets "is a weak dollar."
When quoting another factor that explains the decline in areas of cultivation, Sellanes stressed that "it is difficult to get people to harvest potatoes, it is hard on new generations, they are not interested in working in the field and that is a limitation, although in this sector, they are very well paid."
Source: El Observador