Africa

Why the potato price spiked by over 40% in South Africa

The price of potatoes has skyrocketed in the last two weeks and this is attributed to heavy rains that disrupted harvesting in the Free State province in South Africa.

Chief executive officer of Potatoes South Africa, Dr Andre Jooste says the price jumped more than 40% because it was difficult for farmers to get their equipment into the fields, affecting supply.

“We need specialised equipment to go into the ground to lift the potatoes to the top of the soil where they get picked up, and they had problems getting that machinery into the field. That resulted in a slow supply chain of potatoes which then resulted in potato price increasing ,” says Dr Andre Jooste, CEO of Potatoes South Africa.

Last Tuesday a 10-kilogram bag set you back ZAR37.15 (US$2.5), according to Potatoes South Africa. By Thursday that same bag cost ZAR53.29 (US$4).
Now that the rains have subsided, Jooste says they have already started seeing a supply increase.

Read the full report and listen to an interview with Dr Jooste on Cape Talk.Author: Lengwadishang Ramphele