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Agriculture Department confirms global potato shortage

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has confirmed that there was a global shortage in the potato variety that is used for french fries.

According to Bernadette Reyes’ report on “24 Oras”, the lack of supply of imported potatoes prompted several fast-food chains to limit the portions of the snack with some restaurants temporarily halting the sale of large servings.

“Mas nararamdaman po ‘yan sa mga fast food chains because ‘yung mga chipping potatoes po ang shortage po globally at ‘yan po ay inaangkat din po natin. Tayo po, ang ating mga magsasaka, ang itinatanim po nila ay ‘yung mga table potatoes,” Agriculture undersecretary Kristine Evangelista said.

(Fast food chains are affected by the global shortage of chipping potatoes. We import them. In the Philippines, our farmers are planting table potatoes.)

For its part, Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) said several farmers also opted to stop planting the vegetable which resulted in the low supply of locally-produced potatoes and a slight uptick in their prices.

“‘Yung presyo ng fertilizer di ba internationally tumaas, and of course, ‘yung fuel price tumaas. So ‘yung inputs talaga mataas, kaya ‘yung cost eh hindi kaya, hindi nila kaya,” SINAG Chairperson Rosendo So said.

(The price of fertilizers has increased internationally and of course, the fuel prices. The inputs are too costly, they cannot afford it.)

“We hope na ma-encourage na tulungan ang mga magsasaka dito para at least dito na lang magtanim,” he added.

(We hope that this will encourage the government to provide relief to our farmers.)

Prices of local potatoes at the Benguet Trading Post was now at P43/kilo — a P11 increase from last week’s P32/kilo. The DA, however, said prices in Metro Manila are higher with rates ranging up to P70/kilo. — Sundy Locus/DVM, GMA News