Serious shortages in the supply of locally produced potatoes have led to soaring prices and to an increasing dependence on equally expensive imported produce.
“The months of September and October are always marked by potato shortages since the winter crop isn’t harvested until November-December, but this year is especially bad,” Christakis Varnavas from Red Soil Potatoes from the eastern village of Frenaros told the Cyprus Mail on Wednesday.
“Terrible weather conditions, along with some overly generous exporting practices haven’t left much for the Cyprus market,” Varnavas said.
This means the little supply that has been left for the Cyprus market is now being sold at steep prices, while similarly overpriced potatoes imported from Greece, Egypt and Jordan are being sold to compensate for the lack of local produce.
The potato market is also largely supplied by farmers from northern Cyprus, “both legally and illegally”, Vanavas said. “Though there’s also a huge shortage on the other side too this year.”
Prices are not expected to drop until April next year, according to Varnavas, when the next spring crop, the main crop of the year, will be harvested.
“But even then, we’ll still have a shortage as fewer crops are being planted. Farmers don’t have enough water to harvest enough to cover local demand and the increasing demand from abroad,” Varnavas added.