The European Commission informed the MEPs of the Agriculture Committee on January 31 that it would continue to forbid the import of potato seeds from Scotland as long as the United Kingdom did not comply with EU law regarding sanitary and phytosanitary issues after Brexit. Except for Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland, which are in line with their sanitary and phytosanitary legislation, this provision is applicable to all third countries, according to Brussels.
The Irish Farmers Association's (IFA) weekly potato report states that the planting of early potatoes has advanced well over W5 in Ireland due to the soils' ability to dry out well and provide favourable planting conditions. Early plantings in the UK are reportedly ahead of schedule at this time due to "ideal" conditions in some regions after the late start to the programme. The indoor crop is looking very well, and the first lifting is planned for the end of the month.
As prices fall short of their expenses, Suffolk's potato farmers are experiencing a crisis of confidence. As market forces, disease risks, and weather changes make the crop less feasible, many farmers are deciding to reduce their growing areas.
The findings of a Scottish experiment on potato types that are resistant to the potato cyst nematode (PCN) were made public in W5. Although there are potato cultivars that are resistant to the infection and do not allow PCN to spread, they can result in considerable output reductions. Pests can still eat the root system despite its resistance.
When compared to 2021, the Russian Federation's production of frozen potatoes increased by 16.5% in 2022. While other imports increased, imports from EU countries fell by nearly 30%, to 24,000MT. In reference to the price of potatoes, formerly, domestic goods were even more expensive than those found in France, but that price has now decreased.
Given the campaign the LIDL distribution chain has begun, which features potato offers at USD 0.97/kg guaranteeing that it is a new potato (from this campaign) and originating in Spain, ASAJA warns consumers about the deception of such an offer and requests that the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food tighten controls over the agents of the agri-food chain so that fraudulent practises that hurt both consumers and Spanish producers are discovered and, where necessary, sanctioned. The new potato of national origin that the producers are currently offering for sale has a price at origin of USD 0.64/kg, so a distribution chain cannot sell it at the point of sale for USD 0.97/kg after deducting the costs.
Between October and December 2022, retail sales of potatoes rose in dollars by 17.2% but fell in volume by 1.3% compared to the same period in the previous year. According to a report, volume sales are still higher than before the outbreak, despite a little decline. All potato categories saw a rise in dollar sales, according to the trade group, with frozen potatoes seeing the biggest growth (33.1%), followed by fresh potato sales (20%) and instant potato sales (14.5%). The only category to see a volume sales gain was chilled potatoes (3.3%). Instant and canned potatoes experienced the biggest volume declines in the last quarter of 2022 (-7.6% and -4.9%), respectively. For all other shop categories, volume sales of potatoes decreased.
Due to strong potato shipments, Pakistan's total vegetable exports increased by 90% in quantity and 57% in value during the first four months of the current fiscal year. The abundant potato harvest has been quite effective in making up for the declining onion exports. Onion crops were destroyed by floods in Sindh and Balochistan last year, while Pakistan's potato production increased by 35% to 7.94MMT in FY22 from 5.87MMT in FY21 since floods missed Punjab, the country's primary potato-producing region.
The UK government through the UK’s Sustainable Urban Economic Development Programme (SUED) has funded the construction of an ultra-modern Irish and sweet potato processing factory in Iten, Kenya. Construction of the factory cost USD 18M (Sh 2.3B) and has a processing capacity of 60K MT. The factory will reduce post-harvest losses and provide ready offtake of potatoes. The factory is the first in Kenya and the third in Africa after Egypt and South Africa to process Irish and sweet potatoes for the European Market.
Under the Presidential Sweet Potato Vine Program, the Zimbabwean government has distributed 450,000 virus-free sweet potato plants throughout the nation's regions. The distributed package of plants also contains some biofortified lines, which are rich in vitamins and iron and are very nutritious. Zimbabwe needs about 318,100MT of sweet potatoes annually.