Acute Shortage of Irish Potatoes to Cause Increase in Prices

  • Eateries in the country have started reeling from a critical shortage of potatoes in the country that might make the much-loved chips an expensive affair.

    The Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed that there will be a significant decrease in the supply of the food product in the country.

    So far, according to the ministry, there is a supply gap of 1.7 million metric tonnes.

    The resultant effect is that the price of Irish potatoes has been pushed up by 25 per cent.

    For lovers of potatoe chips who might not afford any increased prices, they might be forced to abandon them or seek alternatives. 

    Hotels and households in the country are also already focusing on the consumptions of imports.

    In offering a solution, Agriculture CS, Mwangi Kiunjuri, indicated that there was a need for farmers of the product to turn to certified seeds in order to increase yields.

    Kiunjuri stated in a report by Nation, “In the next one year we are going to meet the deficit by ensuring that farmers use certified seed. To date, the total production of seeds is at 6,700 metric tonnes short of the 30,000 metric tonnes required.”

    The CS was keen to inform that the certified seeds imply the use of improved versions of the product. By planting the said seeds, farmers' yields will reach 10 metric tonnes, which is equivalent to 88 bags of potatoes per each cultivated hectare.

    Additionally, the farmers will also generate seeds for replanting from their harvests for a total of three generations.

    Kiunjuri also communicated that the problem in the sector was also caused by the lack of measure in Kgs.

    “The point of focus is on potato regulation, there are a number of things that are not okay and this has led to the exploitation of farmers by brokers,” he added.