Panama improves potato and carrot production

Contrary to what was expected because of the effects of El Niño and climate change, the production of potatoes, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, and broccoli improved this year. However, onions are among the vegetables which recorded the lowest performance for this period, said Rogelio Cruz, a producer from the province of Chiriqui.

According to the annual report of the Department of Agriculture of the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA), potato crops account for 53% of the total vegetable production, while onion crops account for 30% of it. Other products account for the remaining seventeen percent.

Rogelio Cruz, who is also the president of the National Union of Agricultural Producers of Panama (UNPAP) said prices, including onion prices, should remain stable because of the high demand there is in the holiday season.

Currently, the price of a quintal of potatoes is $28, a quintal of carrots costs $25, one of cabbage is at $25, one of lettuce, $40, one of broccoli, $50, and one of onion, $30, said Cruz .

2014-2015 Production
Cruz said that this year's potato production had been so high that, unlike in 2011, when there was low production of the product, this year they even had to export part of the production.

According to the report of the MIDA, 1,020 hectares of potatoes were planted in the 2014-2015 period, and the average yield per hectare was of 591.8 quintals.

There were 1,861 hectares of vegetable crops this year, including carrots, cabbage, lettuce, broccoli and others, which had a total harvest yield of 1.1 million quintals.

Unlike the potato and vegetable production, onion production dwindled this year, which will force the country to continue importing it. There were only 584 hectares planted with onions, with a yield of 580.5 quintals per hectare.


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