In response to the increase in cultivation costs, Cypriot potato growers declared on Thursday that they will take action if the state does not intervene to support them. According to the farmers, the increase in cultivation, production and export costs is on top of the already significant damage caused by the extreme weather conditions on the island during the winter months.
“We simply cannot make ends meet,” said Andreas Karios, president of the pan-Cypriot organisation of potato producers. “A kilo of potatoes now costs around 1.20 euros, already more than the 0.80 euros that was the average price in 2021. We would actually have to sell potatoes for 1.50 euros per kilo, given our current problems, but then our sales would drop enormously, people would not be able to buy them.”
As for exports, which, according to him, account for about 80 percent of the total potato harvest on the island, he said that possible price increases would translate into cancelled orders from other countries.
Although some potato growers have been compensated by the state for the damage they suffered as a result of last winter’s severe weather, Karios said the aid does not cover the situation they are currently in. He then said that the potato growers, if they do not get a quick response from the government, will consider major protests.