Potato crop in industrial segment of Russian market is expected to top 7 million tons in 2019
The forecast was announced by the Agriculture Minister of Russia Dmitriy Patrushev during the “government hour” at the State Duma. The field vegetables crop, according to the head of government department, is going to reach 5 million tons this year.
The same result for the potato crop in commercial farm units & family farms in 2019 was declared by the Head of Potato Association of Russia Sergey Lupekhin on the Russian Crop Production 2019/20 Conference, organized by “Agroinvestor” magazine. The Head of Potato Association marked that potato production in 2019 will stay the same as last year, in spite of the planting acreage decrease. According to the Minselkhoz of Russia as at 27 September 2019, the crop harvesting has finished on the 58,4 % of potato area. As at the end of September, totally 4,5 million tons of potato has been cropped. The Minselkhoz reported, the average potato crop yield in industrial segment reached 252,4 centners per hectare, what is 8,3% more than last year. The Head of Association thinks the yield growth allowed to hold the last year level of potato production.
The demand increases both in industrial & consumer segment of Russian potato market. The potato processing volume is also growing. The implementation of some investment projects in potato processing is discussed at the moment. The construction in Russia of the new processing plant with capacity of 200 thousand tons by the Canadian company McCain, the global leader in frozen potato production, is one of the most important. The investments into the project will make nearly 100 million EURO. The Governor of the Bryansk Region says the project will be implemented in that region.
So the processing growth caused the demand increase for some special industrial potato varieties. Some industrial varieties of Western selection are highly appreciated in the internal market, as the local varieties have the lower quality, Lupekhin said. The Head of Association marked this year crop quality is higher than last year. Twelve new competitive local potato varieties & eleven new selection & seed growing technologies should be created till 2025 as the part of the National agricultural development scientific and technological program. The investments for that from State Budget & non-budget funds will make 19 billion rubles till 2025.
The external potato demand also grows. The export opportunities of the European producers are limited by the weather in the South of Europe & high demand in the home market. So the countries of Middle East & Africa, earlier imported potatoes from Europe, set sights on the Russia. But the experts think the Russian export opportunities are limited by the logistic & phytosanitary import requirements.