Serbia: Serbia faces potato shortage and soaring prices
The price of potatoes in Serbia rose 193% since 2021 due to last year’s drought and large-scale imports, which discouraged domestic production, Guča-based Agro-Mobile company director Ratko Vukićević said on Tuesday.
The potato harvest in 2020 set a new record, and producers used potatoes to feed livestock and threw them away, while last year’s drought caused a significant decline in supply as enormous quantities of potatoes were imported, Vukićević told the BETA News Agency.
He said that in 2020 wholesalers sold a kilogram of potatoes for RSD15-20 and that they could not be sold, so producers threw them away, and that last year a kilogram of potatoes cost about RSD50 (€0.43).
He added that, in 2021, around 50,000 tons of potatoes were imported, mostly from France, and this spring, around 10,000 tons were imported monthly, causing many to abandon production.
He stressed that it was very difficult to sell potatoes to large foreign retail chains in Serbia and that the sale of the vegetable in these stores was steeped in corruption, while quality played no role in their decisions.
According to official information, the price of other agricultural products also went up in the past year by several dozen percentage points.
From April 2021 until April 2022, the price of grains went up 43%, wheat 51.6%, corn 40%, and livestock and poultry 38.7%. The price of fish increased by over 30.5%, eggs by 33.8% and milk by 24.1%.