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“Potato crisis” in Cyprus

Lack of rainfall and high temperatures have taken a toll on the production of potatoes in the north of Cyprus and subsequent shortages in supply have led to soaring prices, Turkish Cypriot media reported on Tuesday. Daily Yeni Duzen referred to a ‘potato crisis’. Due to soaring prices in the market and the low production of potatoes this year, it said, many producers started harvesting non-mature potatoes to meet demand. Prices however, the report says, remain high.

It was reported last week that the price of potatoes in the north reached 25 Turkish lira (€4) per kilo. Producers, according to reports, argue that potato production has dropped this year by 60 per cent due to high temperatures and diseases. A warm winter meant losses in the spring and autumn crops.

The price crisis, however, was not their fault, they said, but is stemming from the merchants. Producers said that merchants are buying potatoes cheaply from them and preserving them in cold storage until the desired price is offered. They called for measures for the potatoes to reach the consumers straight from producers.

‘Agriculture minister’ Erkut Sahali said in a post on social media that annual potato production is usually at around 16,000 tonnes but this year, due to lack of rainfall and the moderate winter season, the production has fallen to 6,000 tonnes.

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