Karios: Less production and increases in potatoes after the floods in Ammochostos

There is no shortage of potatoes on the market, say producers and Panagrotikos

20240131 115142 exclusive, Potato Growers, PLYMYRES

There does not seem to be a shortage of potatoes on the market, after the recent floods that occurred in the communities of Larnaca and the free province of Famagusta, which resulted in damage to several plantations, a representative of the Potato Growers and Panagrotikos told KYPE.

Specifically, Andreas Karyos, the representative of the Potato Producers, said that "it seems that the damage suffered by the plantations will not be as great as we estimated, but there will be less potato production".

Asked whether the damages have been recorded by the officials of the Department of Agriculture, he answered that "some officials went to the fields the day after the floods and recorded the problems. However, it will take up to 20 days or even a month to see the problem caused in the production and then we will be asked to submit an application for a Damage Statement".

Compensation, he continued, will be given "if the Department of Agriculture estimates that the damage exceeds 30%, while in case the damage is below 30% then it remains with the producer and does not receive compensation".

Mr. Karyos answered in the negative to a question as to whether there will be shortages in the market, noting however that "the period we are going through concerns the winter harvest of potatoes. However, due to diseases and the reduced production that we will have from the floods, the availability of the product will be reduced, while it seems that there will be an increase in the price".

With regard to exports, he said that "we will try to accommodate traders abroad, but unfortunately the damage caused by the heavy rains has set us back a lot. The damages seem to amount to 40%" he said and noted that "in previous years we had a winter harvest of potatoes that reached 50 thousand tons, while this year we will only reach 30 thousand tons".

For his part, Tasos Giapanis, Secretary General of Panagrotikos, said that "unfortunately, the heavy rains that occurred last week in the communities of the free province of Famagusta as well as in Larnaca, caused damage to the potatoes that had been planted a few days before, resulting in the potato seed did not have time to take root and absorb the large amounts of rain".

He added that "too many areas were affected, but we will know in the next few days if there is any damage and how big the damage will be, since producers will have to wait to see the size of the potato. Producers continue to plant potatoes and we hope that there will be no shortage of the product in the market."

Asked to state whether there will be a problem with potato exports, Mr. Karyos said that "the issue is the contracts that the various merchants have with their markets and partners abroad. The specific problem will become clear when the potatoes are eradicated." He noted that "it is impossible at the moment to say how much damage has been caused to the potato plantations".

The Agricultural Organizations, he continued, "are monitoring the matter and we have asked the Department of Agriculture after a few days, its officials to visit the affected areas and record the damages. At the same time, we are waiting to see if the compensation for the disasters can be included in the Law Framework on Risks, or if the state needs to help outside the specific Framework" he concluded.