- Bad weather conditions experienced in some parts of the country have impacted the potato industry
- A sizeable portion of the season's crop had to be discarded after it was affected by frost and the means companies such as PepsiCo cannot produce enough potato products
- The price of potatoes has also been affected and South Africans have to pay R50 to R60 more for a 10kg bag of potatoes
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JOHANNESBURG - While South Africa might be in the summer season, most of the country has been experiencing rainy and cold weather since the season began and it has had a negative impact on farming industries.
The potato industry might be one of the hardest-hit industries, which has had a trickling effect on industries that depend on potatoes for their products.
John Stevenson, PepsiCo's vice president for South African foods and beverages, says the low supply of potatoes is heading towards shortages of popular chip brands such as Lays and Simba, according to BusinessInsider.
Steveson says crop yields were affected by harsh weather conditions such as frost which meant a lot of potatoes had to be discharged. While the weather conditions may have improved, the loss in the crop yield is still being felt.
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The potato shortage has led to an increase in the price of potatoes. A 10kg bag normally retailed between R40 and R50 but prices have skyrocketed and a 10kg bag retails for almost R100, according to IOL.
Other countries experiencing potato shortages
CNN recently reported that McDonald's in Japan has made the decision to limit the size of french fires people can order to small because of a potato shortage.
The low supply is being caused by flooding that has been happening in Canada, which is one of the country's major suppliers.
McDonald's says from 24 December to 30 December, customers will not be able to buy medium or large fries.
South Africans concerned about the potato shortage
Heading online, social media users questioned how potatoes could be so scarce. Others jokingly said potatoes have become endangered. Here are some comments:
"Simba Chips has entered the endangered species list "
"Even more concerning than chips, this staple food will cost more for ordinary consumers."
Some people blamed companies for not sourcing potatoes from local farmers
"They don't want to invest in young farmers. To top it off, it's massively difficult to get onto their database. So no remorse for them..."
"That's because they want imported potatoes I know many harvested potatoes from local farmers that are black who sell on the streets."
"Come to villages there are plenty potatoes."
Some people suggested healthier and cheaper alternatives to Lays and Simba chips
"Why don't they sweet potato once."
"Good. We have nothing to benefit health-wise there anyway."
"They should import Chompkins from Zimbabwe, they are healthy and proudly Zimbabwean no GMOs."
Savanna production slowed down due to global glass shortage
Briefly News previously reported that with summer steadily approaching and South Africans starting to gear up for the festive season, many people have been disappointed to discover that there is low stock of the popular cider, Savanna, in liquor stores with some outlets reporting that they will be sold out for the next few months.
Covid-19 has resulted in worldwide shipping delays affecting a variety of sectors and the liquor industry by creating a glass bottle shortage.
However, global glass producers have stated that they believe the constraints will be temporary.
Source: Briefly News