07 March 2023
Storm takes its toll on potato growth.
CONCERNS have been raised about the harvest of potatoes in Sicily.
The potato season will soon begin on the island that was hit by a severe storm at the beginning of February, resulting in shortage of vegetable supplies and higher prices.
Growing Societa Agricola Zito & Co SRL, a family-run business, said early potatoes have become an expensive commodity.
"In addition to general price increases at every stage of production, we had to pay 20-30 percent more for seed potatoes this year. We have to look for alternatives because we won't survive for long with these costs," Simone Zito, who runs the business with his brother Francesco and father Tonino, revealed in a recent interview.
The harvest of the Arizona variety should start between March 10th and 15th, but Simone said they are not in a rush to harvest as early this year - partly because of the weather and partly because of current prices.
"We harvest the potatoes 130 to 150 days after planting in order to have slightly larger and more mature tubers. Also, early potatoes sell best in spring weather. If you can reach the market by then, as soon as stocks of stored potatoes run low, you can get good deals," he said in a recent interview with Fresh Plaza.
Francesco said the losses to early potatoes was about 5% but he was more worried about those that would be harvested later.
"We are worried about the entire yield. This is because the wind has broken off several stems," he said.
Source: Fresh Plaza