With the potato harvest in full swing, Potatoes SA says crops from farms in the Free State are generally looking good, but there are quality issues with potatoes in other regions due to rain and hot weather.
The industry body told Business Insider South Africa that several regions were currently in harvest season. This includes the western and eastern Free State, the Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, North West, and north Eastern Cape, as well as the Sandveld and Ceres in the Western Cape.
“Weather during the harvesting and growing season plays a big influence on quality. Parts of some regions experienced above-average rainfall and hot weather, which may influence the quality,” Potatoes SA said.
The eastern Free State experienced good rains that resulted in good quality and average to below-average yields. The western Free State is producing above average potato volumes, Potatoes SA said.
However, In the Western Cape, rainy and hot weather conditions hampered quality.
According to Potatoes SA while the quality of the vegetable is a significant factor in pricing, it is uncertain what the price movements will be over the next three months. “It will depend on quantity, hectares planted and weather conditions as well as volumes delivered to markets.”
In his weekly YouTube video that tracks market prices for fresh produce in Mzansi, Dr Johnny van der Merwe, managing director of agricultural information group Agrimark Trends (AMT) said although potato prices increased slightly over the past week, they are expected to come down. Higher volumes are expected to be delivered to fresh produce markets.
“Potatoes from the western production areas are in relatively high quality and good condition, while higher rainfall towards the eastern parts resulted in slightly lower quality on the markets. Potato prices may decrease this week,” he said.
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