Wednesday, June 3, 2009

GOB to Import Potatoes to Fill Shortage

Can’t find potatoes anywhere? Well, since last week we have been hearing concerns from consumers that there is a shortage of Irish Potatoes in the country. This shortage has made way for the importation of potatoes into the country, a move that has the approval of the Ministry of Agriculture. During the National Agriculture and Trade Show, Love FM News took the opportunity to talk to agriculture officials about the shortage and ask what will be done in the interim to supply the market.

“Since the local production is just about over now we still have a little bit of local production which is about the tail end of it,” Eugene Waight, Chief Agricultural Officer, told Love FM. “We will then start allowing potatoes to be imported whether it is from Mexico or Guatemala.”

Mr. Waight stated that the international price for potato is a little bit high and that we can expect a little increase in the price of potato initially but that should taper off within the next week or so.

Oscar Salazar, District Agriculture Coordinator for the Cayo District says that more than one factors contributed to the shortage. He stated that there is a small window for the growth of Irish Potatoes and there was some loss due to bad weather.

“February is harvest time and the rainy season. Those are the implications and constraints that farmers have out there when it comes to potatoes,” he stated. “The other constraint is that we don’t have adequate storage.”

Love News understands that the new crop season will not start until November this year meaning that local farmers will not be able to supply the local market until February or March of 2010.

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