THE potatoes are fetching high prices owing to the low yield this year, potato farmers and traders said. Additionally, potatoes are not imported amid the border restrictions. Consequently, lack of competition in the market drives potato prices up.
“The sown acreage dropped to two or three-fold this year. Earlier, Myanmar’s potatoes are competing in the market with those imported from China. At present, there is an equilibrium between the supply and demand”, said a potato grower. The prices of potatoes stood at only K500-K800 per viss (a viss equals 1.6 kilogrammes) in the past years.
At present, the prices surged from K1,300 to K2,000 per viss. China’s potatoes have flowed into Myanmar’s market through the black market starting in 2015.
Therefore, the growers of domestic potatoes face losses due to the slow-moving market every year. This event resulted in a drop in sown acreage in 2020. “Local potatoes cannot compete with imports, rendering losses every year. This is why some growers no longer cultivate potatoes. As a result of this, the yield rate plummeted. Potato trade with China is blocked and there is a lack of market competition.
The prices of local potatoes have increased,” said U Myint Lwin, a potato grower. Potatoes are commonly grown in Shan, Mon and Kayin states and Yangon, Bago, Ayeyawady, Sagaing, Mandalay and Magway regions. — Maung Aye Chan/GNLM