Potato producers in Argentina demanding fair prices
Fernandez said producers had to be paid better prices because the prices they were being paid, in relation to the cost of a planted hectare, were vile.
"The potato sector has a lot of courage to sow and to take risks, but it is lacking the necessary courage to defend its production and improve the vile prices that they are currently being paid," said Fernandez through a statement.
"The prospects are given so that this situation can be reversed in the short term and so producers can start receiving a fair price for their efforts, in turn, the consumer also pays a fair price for the product they acquire and we can end the huge differences affecting both ends of the chain once and for all," he said.
Fernandez outlined the difficult situation faced by the activity caused by the high prices of inputs, labor, and logistics that contrast with the low prices currently being paid by the wholesale markets for a kilo of potatoes and the high marketing margins in the great sales centers to the detriment of consumers.
According to a satellite survey, there are 33,568 hectares planted with potatoes for consumption and industry in the southeast of the province of Buenos Aires in the current campaign, slightly more than in the previous one.
The first measures taken by the national government in the beginning of this administration benefited the industrial sectors that process potatoes and export them frozen, as snacks and flakes. The measures, however, didn't benefit the sector that sold its production last May."
It's not true that people are eating less potatoes because they are replacing them with other products. The truth is they are eating fewer potatoes because they are paying excessive prices and that has to end."
The potato is the third most important food worldwide. after wheat and rice. In Argentina, the potato agribusiness generates thousands of jobs, ranking among the ten most labor intensive food chains. ■