Higher Prices for Early Potatoes in Czech Republic Due to Lower Yields and Increased Demand

The recent arrival of early potatoes from fields in the Mělník region and other farming areas in the Polabí region has brought higher prices to the market compared to previous years. Several factors have contributed to this price increase, including lower yields, higher demand, and decreased imports from abroad.

According to the Czech Potato Growers Association, each Czech resident consumes approximately 60 to 70 kilograms of potatoes per year. However, local farmers can only meet about 75 to 80 percent of the total demand, leaving the remaining potatoes to be imported, primarily from Spain, Greece, and Egypt.

This year, the production of early potatoes has been lower than usual. A cold and humid spring delayed planting by nearly a week, resulting in reduced yield. While last year’s production yield was around 30 tons per hectare, this year’s yield is only approximately 20 tons per hectare.

Another contributing factor to the higher prices is the situation abroad, where early potatoes are imported. In Spain, for example, severe drought conditions have led to significantly lower yields. Additionally, lower stockpiles of potatoes from Germany, Belgium, and France, imported from the previous year, have further diminished supply.

To address the situation, the Czech Potato Growers Association is urging consumers to support locally-grown produce despite the higher prices. They have initiated a campaign called “Potatoes for Peeling,” which is being supported by several retail chains. The campaign emphasizes the freshness and health benefits of locally grown potatoes, which are harvested as early as 5 a.m., processed, packaged, and made available on store shelves on the same day.

Consumers should be aware that these early potatoes have a shorter shelf life and should be purchased quickly before they begin to darken. By choosing to buy from local farmers, consumers can play a crucial role in ensuring the continuity of the potato farming tradition in the Czech Republic for future generations.

While the current higher prices may pose a temporary inconvenience for consumers, supporting local agriculture can have long-term benefits for both the economy and the environment. By encouraging sustainable farming practices and reducing reliance on imported goods, the Czech Republic can foster a stronger and more resilient agricultural sector.

Article by Prague Forum

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