Belgian farmers cultivate ever more potatoes to satisfy the unstoppable demand for Belgian fries

In 2016, the area given over to potato cultivation reached a record 89,163 hectares.The area devoted to growing potatoes and the production of this tuber has not stopped growing in recent years in Belgium. It has made the humble potato, in value terms, “the most important crop after vegetables.” This has been revealed by SPF Economy statistics, published a few days before the 83rd Agricultural Fair at Libramont. In 2016, the area given over to potato cultivation reached a record 89,163 hectares, with a sharp rise of 13.38% compared to 2015. This was particularly marked when likened to 2000, with an increase in the area cultivated of more than 35% since that time. Nearly 40% were processed into frozen chips. Moreover 80% of the production were exported. The potato processing sector, which employed 4,115 workers in 2016, also invested a record €310 million last year. More