There has never been such a situation with food in the country.
The amount of foreign potatoes on the Belarusian shelves is going to increase. According to the last Belstat report, from January to July, imports of this category increased by more than a third. Supply countries include Israel, Iran, Lithuania, and Ukraine, Belsat reports.
"This year many regions have reduced acreage of cereals, potatoes, vegetables, willow, fodder crops," says former chairman of the collective farm, PhD in economics Peter Migursky.
Potatoes are an energy-intensive crop, reminds Peter Migursky. If one reduces the area one reduces the cost of production. The Gomel region only got only 137 quintals per hectare instead of the previous 200. And the situation is similar all over the country. Our other interviewee Victor Kovalev, development director of the Potatoes news portal, believes that the current crop failure has another reason - climatic.
"Untimely irrigation resulted in the fact that the regions with drought, like the central regions of Russia, had a 30-35% reduction of the planned yield," says Victor Kovalev.
Hence, the export fell by almost the same third. Meanwhile, Belarus used to sell potatoes to Ukraine at a cheaper price of 21 cents against 28 cents.
Potato prices have already risen. Now a kilo of potatoes costs more than a ruble. Journalists compared several popular stores and got the following results: last year's potatoes in Gippo cost almost Br2 per kilo while this year's is 16 kopecks cheaper.
The largest chain store of Belarus, Evroopt, turned out to be a little more loyal to the customers - the Belarusian potatoes here are worth about Br30 to Br60 kopecks per kilo. The chain store Kopeechka corresponds to its name less than a common Baranovichi store Uzlesak: a ruble and nine kopecks against 99 kopecks.