According to EastFruit price monitoring data, the wholesale prices of potatoes in Georgia last week increased by 50% compared to the previous week. It has increased from 0.8 GEL/kg ($0.28) to 1.2 GEL/kg ($0.42). Growers attribute this sharp increase to several factors.
At the moment, in the local production the Kvemo Kartli region is the main supplier, although the quantity decreases with the end of the season in the region. Besides, the demand for Georgian potatoes from Azerbaijan has increased. Usually, in the middle of September the Samtskhe-Javakheti region starts supplying the local market, but this year there is a bad harvest in this region.
According to growers from the Samtskhe-Javakheti, the two-month drought continues in the region. That has negatively affected the quantity and the quality of the harvest. Harvesting season just started, and few growers are already harvesting, although it is already clear that the harvest will be dramatically reduced, compared to expected. If usually, without irrigation, the yield per hectare is on average 10-12 tons now, in the best case, growers will harvest 5 tons.
In addition to the reduced yield, the harvesting process is also challenging as the drought-hardened soil damages potato tubers when dug out by tractors.
It’s worth reminding, that the last season was successful for Georgian potato growers, due to increased demand from Russia, this year, prices will probably be high again, but this time because of a lower supply.
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