Does the Egyptian production of potatoes the answer to the potato shortage that is afflicting Europe?

This year has been filled with high demand and inadequate supply of potatoes an issue that experts of media and the business world even go as far as to refer to as “the world’s potato crisis”. In a discussion of the causes for the situation and why Egypt is the best source of potatoes to Europe, Yassen Abdelhay of the firm Arafa shares his thoughts.

“The world’s potato market is expanding while the plantings remain stable, declining in some nations. Particularly, the demand for potatoes processed and French fries is increasing each year, and prices are set to hit records in 2023. EU factories typically meet their needs locally. However because of factors like the weather, and new nitrogen regulations, EU production is not enough anymore. Europe is more vulnerable than other countries since it’s an exporter of potato products including French fries.”

This means that the countless tons of potato farms in Europe do not meet the needs of consumers in the current climate, particularly following the drop from French or Northern European volumes due to an extended hot summer and the drought. Egyptian potatoes are later found by European customers as well, and Abdelhay is adamant “Egypt is the most trustworthy supplier to meet the demand of potatoes in Europe.”

The manufacturer argues that “We offer a highly appealing price. We are averaging EUR320/tonne FOB by 2023. However, European prices are reaching records. The median FOB price for table potatoes in Belgium was ranging from 400 to 400 EUR/ton Belgapom on the 9th of May 2023. While the median cost of table potatoes in France has increased to 560 EUR/ton and the price average for table potatoes in Spain has surpassed 700 EUR/ton at the first time ever. Price increases will continue until the next harvest is completed is harvested in the EU because the stocks are exhausted and the quality from the new crop is sure to affect next season’s prices.”

Abdelhay says: “Moreover, the quality of our potatoes is top-quality in comparison to other growers and so you cannot tell Egyptian potatoes from the other varieties that are of European Origin. Exports of Egypt into EU countries have special rules which ensure that we are in respect for European standard. The crops are cultivated in areas that are pest-free (PFA) and processed at approved packing facilities and then exported through officially licensed and closely monitored exporters who are registered and monitored.”

The quantities produced this year by Egypt do not suffice to meet the demand of the market in Europe however, they is likely to satisfy demand soon As per Abdelhay, “Egypt has huge quantities, and more than one million tons are ready to export every year however, more is required in order to fill the gap. Strategic partnerships with EU processors as well as Egyptian producers over the next times is the most effective option, since Egyptian producers are able to substantially increase their production provided they sign pre-approved agreements. The prospect of a significant expansion in cultivation surface and an expansion in varieties that are needed to process and table potatoes can be achieved and has already began in Egypt. The EU is currently the second-largest marketplace for Egyptian potatoes. Here we export many varieties, including Lady Rosetta, Carosu, and Hermes for chips. Santana, Agria, and Daimont to make French french fries.”

The Egyptian government has launched many vast-scale projects to restore desert land. One of them is the “New Delta” mega-project, which covers the area of 924,000 hectares in various crop varieties. Potato is among the key crops in the project in order to satisfy demands for food in the country and to boost exports. Abdelhay states: “The government’s efforts go beyond the constant expansion of acreage and the government monitors the whole process of growing potatoes all the way from seed control through harvesting as well as export.”

Concerning his capacity to export in the current year Abdelhay declares: “This year, our business made 200,000 tons of potatoes, with 150,000 processed use potatoes as well as 50,000 table potatoes. which is an increase by 20% over the previous year. We’re a certified vendor to the EU as well as many of our clients from the processing sector across the EU like our potatoes over EU source. We anticipate an increase in production from 20 to 50% by the end of next year.”

More information is available here:

Yassen Abdelhay

Arafa to promote exports and development of agriculture

Tel/WhatsApp: +201095320059


Source: The Plantations International Agroforestry Group of Companies