A SHORTAGE of potatoes in Ukraine means the country became one of the largest importers last year.
Andrey Yarmak, economist at the investment department of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) stated that from July 2019 to June 2020 almost half a million tons of fresh potatoes were imported for consumption, excluding seed.
"This makes Ukraine one of the world's largest importers of potatoes for the fresh market, because the rest of the leading importers (Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Germany) import potatoes mainly for processing or for re-export," she said. "But officially it is considered that Ukraine is one of the three largest potato producers in the world, behind China and India.”
She said it is also the only European country selling potatoes still covered in soil in supermarkets. Audrey added: "The volume of sales of potatoes in supermarkets in Ukraine is less than the volume of sales of oranges."
She said the vast majority of Ukrainian farms that grow potatoes, even professional ones, do not have equipment for bringing potatoes to marketable appearance ie cleaning, washing, sorting, packaging.