15% of potato producers have given up cultivation

15% of potato producers have given up cultivation

The potato price is again a matter of national debate. This time, the cyclist Nairo Quintana pointed out that the high costs of inputs are the main cause of the rise of this product in the basic basket.

(Read: The premium for quality of Colombian coffee increased 600%).

He also added: “now we peasants are not going to have enough money to buy the inputs and produce potatoes, so the next step is that the Minister of Agriculture is going to import potatoes as they have done many times and that is what we have been doing all the time in against importing potatoes from Belgium, Holland and the United States”.

As well as Nairo Quintana, the manager of the Colombian Federation of Potato Producers, Germán Palacio agrees that this factor is one of those that is increasing the price of this tuber. The union leader also states that the low supply that alters prices is also due to the resignation of 15% of the producers to this crop.

Two years ago, producing a hectare of potatoes was worth 21 million pesos, this year, producing the same hectare is worth 32 million pesos. A small producer cannot invest these 11 million more, which has caused many to leave the crop“, argument.

He also argued that this has also affected the supply of this product, and its price increase.

The union leader emphasizes that these are small producers what they supply of potato to the country. 80% of those who grow this food have less than one hectare. “In other words, they don’t have financial muscle, they are producers who only have to survive and have something left to invest in the next crop.”

(What’s more: 15% of agriculture in the country uses high technology in processes).

The price of this product worries Colombians. The National Administrative Department of Statistics, Dane, revealed, in its January inflation report, that the potato was the food that increased its cost the most, specifically 140%.

The bad news is that the situation does not seem to have an end in sight. Palace indicated that “we are going to have papa expensive for the next four months, so as not to generate false expectations”.

The reason for this situation is that the large harvest, from the Cundiboyacense savannah, which produces 60% of Colombia’s potatoesIt arrives from June. This fact would lower tuber prices to their normal level.

(Read: If prices are rising, how to pay basic basket expenses?).

However, the situation of the rise worries the farmers of this product, because, according to the Fedepapa manager, there are people with capital who want to invest in this tuber because of the profits it is currently generating, which would cause a oversupply at the end of the yeartherefore a sharp drop in prices that would affect small producers.

On the other hand, Palacio indicated that potato imports are also a concern and said that 80,000 tons are entering.

JULIANA PEÑA

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