Africa-Press – Tanzania. DAR ES SALAAM: THE price of round potatoes has gone down by one-third, pushing more demand though failed to cut down the price of chips.
The price decline, according to the ‘Daily News’ spot survey, was the result of good harvest experienced in the supplying areas of Southern Highlands and northern part of the country.
The spot survey showed that a sack of 100 kilogrammes was sold at 60,000/- down yesterday from 90,000/- three months ago.
A Mabibo market trader Mr Zuberi Mangasa said the business is good, as they are seeing more customers attracted by the low price of potatoes.
“The business is good, because there are many consumers who are attracted by the low price,” Mr Mangasa told the ‘Daily News’.
The Mabibo market in Ubungo district is the largest for round potato market in Dar es Salaam and receives supply mainly from Njombe, Iringa, Mbeya, Arusha, Tanga and Kilimanjaro. The potato season is between June and November.
“We are now selling around 45 sacks of potatoes a day, compared to 15 sacks during low season,” said Mr Mangasa
The market is said to receive between 35 and 40 trucks per day compared to 10 per day three months ago. The trucks are carrying between 200 and 300 sacks of potatoes each.
Another Mabibo trader Ms Eliza Athanas said that the business turnaround is good thanks to the low price of the round potatoes.
“We are currently serving many customers are day thanks to the low price after the increased supply unlike out of season [December to May] where prices are higher,” Ms Athanas said.
However, the paper spot survey in various parts of the city showed that despite potato prices going down by 30 per cent French fries prices continue to remain the same since the beginning of the year.
Some traders said they failed to lower the prices of the chips, a darling fast food, due to other business overheads.
The country’s potato consumption per capita reached 13.3 kg in 2020, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation Corporate Statistical Database (Faostat). This is 0.683 per cent more than in the previous year.
Historically, potato consumption per capita in the country reached an all-time high of 21.7 kg in 2010 and an all-time low of 0.790 kg in 1969.
The country was ranked 108th within the group of 165 countries Faostat follows in terms of potato consumption per capita.