Ukraine feels acute deficit of high-quality potato by early spring that causes significant price fluctuations – research by ProAgro Company10:18 | ProAgro
As is known, potatoes may be considered one of the most important agricultural crops. It is an extremely valuable food product. The potato’s value is determined by its high taste characteristics and a chemical composition that is useful for human health.
It should be noted that the volume of potatoes production is growing worldwide. According to the ProAgro Company data, on average, an annual increase rate from 1991 to 2007 amounted to 2.5%. Mainly, the growth of production volumes is ensured by the developing states where an average increase rate is 8.5%. At the same time, in the developed states, a gradual decline of potatoes production volumes can be observed with an average decrease rate being 1.7% per year. It should also be noted that production and consumption of potatoes at present are growing not as quickly as the population of the globe.
In its turn, in terms of the production volumes, Ukraine in 2007 took the fifth place in the world after China, Russia, Poland and the USA. If we look at the European states only, Ukraine takes the second place in terms of the potato production volumes. Ukraine’s share in potato production in the world accounts for 6.1% whereas in terms of the European harvest its share is 14.9%.
At present, the leaders in terms of potatoes productivity are the Netherlands, Denmark, and Belgium where potatoes harvest from 1 ha exceeds 400 centners.
At the same time, in Ukraine, average annual productivity of potatoes over the last five years totaled
133 cwt/ha. Although, over these years, insignificant average annual increase of about 1.1% was registered, productivity compared to productivity in other states remains low. The increase of productivity is ensured mainly by the agricultural enterprises and not private households, the share of which in potatoes production is about 98%, which is one of the highest indicators compared to the similar figures for other agricultural crops.
According to the ProAgro Company information, low potatoes yield in Ukraine is caused by poor level of agricultural technologies development. In particular, private households do not use modern agricultural technologies for potatoes growing due to the low level of agricultural education, absence of specialization in the product growing as well as absence of the necessary means to ensure high-quality cultivation of the crop.
Due to the shortage of funds, low-quality seeds are used, no adequate attention is paid to the purchase of modern pest and weeds control agents, fertilizers are not bought in sufficient amounts and the practice of use of special agricultural equipment is nearly absent.
Potatoes’ competitive power is also decreased by significant fluctuation of prices that is typical for this market. Fluctuations of prices are caused by the existing imperfect system of products procurement from producers that is done by a large number of poorly organized wholesale buyers. However, the main reason of fluctuation of prices is the absence of the required amount of modern storage facilities. Improper storage of potatoes leads to the situation when by early spring an acute deficit of good quality products is felt that causes sharp surges of prices.
You can find more detailed information on potatoes, agricultural machines and equipment used for potato production, fertilizers and many other things in the research by ProAgro Company "Ukraine: Potato Market".