Nikolay Gordiychuk: There Will Be Enough Potatoes In Ukraine, But The Quality Of The Tubers Has Suffered

Published online: Sep 17, 2023 Articles
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There will be enough potatoes for the 2023 harvest in Ukraine, despite the planting area being smaller than last year. True, it will not be of very high quality due to high temperatures during the growing season and farmers saving on protective equipment, writes SEEDS .

“This season, potato farmers have had it worse than last season. First of all, this is due to the rise in price of all components used for planting potatoes. Their cost increased by 40 percent compared to last year. This suggests that farmers have begun to save on certain means of protection.

“The second problem that affected the quality of potatoes is high temperatures during the growing season. Therefore, in some regions there is damage to potatoes by scab and wireworm. Such potatoes cannot be stored for long. However, this affects the price. Now farmers are trying to get rid of low-quality potatoes and sell them quickly,” Nikolai Gordiychuk, vice-president of the Ukrainian Association of Potato Producers (UAVK), told Suspilna on air.

“Today, farmers sell low-quality potatoes from the farm for about 5-5.5 hryvnia per kilogram. In the markets of Kyiv and Lvov we see potatoes for 7-8 hryvnia, and online - for high-quality potatoes delivered to the store ramp they pay about 9 hryvnia per kilogram.

“It is clear that the consumer pays for the presentation and wants to see high-quality potatoes that have undamaged skins and are not affected by scab or other diseases. And, of course, the caliber. If budget stores sell potatoes with a diameter of 35 mm or more, that is, small ones, then supermarkets in big cities demand from farmers 45 plus, or 50 plus, that is, 5 centimeters or more in diameter,” noted the vice-president of the Ukrainian Association of Potato Producers.

“There are a lot of potatoes grown in Ukraine, but not enough quality ones. Therefore, for high-quality ones, the price will most likely increase by the new year. But so far in the market we have a situation where the price of this product is falling, because farmers have nowhere to store potatoes.

In Ukraine, probably 20-30% of farmers have high-quality storage facilities where potatoes can be stored during the season, from September to May. And they traditionally sell their products from the field, because few want to take on the storage risks for the goods. And many are trying to quickly sell everything also because of the uncertainty in connection with Russian aggression.

The real price for potatoes, it seems to me, will be established somewhere in November, when both the harvest and the rush to procure potatoes for households will end,” the expert suggested.

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