Concerns over SA's potato prices

Concerns over SA's potato prices

By Daniel Itai, Polokwane, South Africa

Many consumers are lamenting over the prices of potatoes which have since skyrocketed by more than 150 percent over the course of the last three months.

“Potato prices started to move around June, July. The weather affected potatoes in the Limpopo province where most of the potatoes come from which caused low levels of the output of potatoes. However, moving forward, the weather will determine the price of potatoes,” said André Jooste, CEO of Potato South Africa.

Moreover, Marvin Abrahams, Coordinator of the Economic Justice and Dignity Organization, has since raised serious concerns over the issue of nutrition due to the current pricing which is beyond the reach of many.

“A 10kg bag of potatoes now costs 80 Rand. The price of food has increased dramatically which can end up leading to undernutrition. Households depend on potatoes and this is really hitting many households very hard,” said Abrahams.

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Jane Battersby, Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town’s African Centre for Cities also concurred with Abrahams citing that many households were now opting for cheaper processed food.

“People are now moving towards highly processed foods like noodles because they are cheaper than raw foods but there is a big problem of undernutrition,” said the Associate Professor.