Agrexco, Israel’s leading agricultural export company, says it will export 60,000 tonnes of new potatoes during the 2000/2001 season The export of autumn/winter potatoes started at the beginning of November, three weeks ahead of schedule. It is estimated that Agrexco will supply the UK market with nearly 10,000 tonnes of baby new potatoes. Other markets for Israeli potatoes are Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Scandinavia and France, where the supply is channelled to each country according to preferences of varieties.

Meanwhile, trade sources said the Egypt’s potato industry is in a deep crisis, in view of the fact that many small farmers quit cultivating for this season. This is due to a severe shortage of seeds of the Nicola variety, one of the main varieties grown in Egypt. The reason for the shortage, according to trade sources, is the decision taken by the Ministry of Agriculture in Cairo to ban the import of Nicola seeds claiming “quality problems.”

It is estimated that Egypt will export during the 2000/2001 season 70,000 tonnes of potatoes, compared with 110,000 tonnes exported during the previous season.

By Aaron Priel