Pressures and opportunities in food systems across Southern Africa have generated renewed interest in potatoes both as a food crop and a source of income in recent years. With populations growing at over 2.0 %/year in several countries and urban consumers often eager to diversify their diets, new markets are also opening up. Given these trends, growers, traders and governments are seeking out new ways to capitalize on these developments. This paper examines the evolution of growth rates in potato production, utilization and trade in Southern Africa over nearly the last half century using FAO annual secondary data. After highlighting the different roles that potatoes have played in crop diversification across the sub-region, the paper identifies some key issues for future research as well as some opportunities for industry both large and small.
Las presiones y oportunidades en los sistemas alimenticios en los países del África del Sur han generado renovado interés en la papa como un cultivo de consumo y de venta en los últimos años. Con tasas de crecimiento anual poblacional encima de 2,0 % en varios países y con consumidores urbanos con ganas de diversificar sus dietas, nuevos mercados están abriendo. Dada esta situación, productores, comerciantes y gobiernos están interesados en aprovechar dichas tendencias. Este artículo examina la evolución de las tasas de crecimiento de la producción, utilización y comercio de la papa en África del Sur durante casi el último medio siglo utilizando los datos de la FAO. Después de subrayar los diferentes papeles que la papa ha tenido en la diversificación agrícola a lo largo de la sub-región durante ese periodo, se identifican algunos temas clave para futuras investigaciones además de algunas oportunidades para la industria tanto grande como pequeña.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). 2004. Canadian potato-situation and trends 2004. Ottawa: AAFC.
Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). 2007. Canadian potato-situation and trends 2007. Ottawa: AAFC.
Allen, S., J. Brown, S. Gavian, S. Kyle, A. Deprez, and J. Mellor. 2003. A framework for transitioning to rural economic growth in Angola. Agriculture and food security review prepared for USAID-Angola. Mimeo. Bethesda: Abt Associates Inc.
Anaya Chogo, H. 2009. The impact of deregulation on competitiveness and market integration: The case of South Africa’s potato exports. Msc. thesis. Pretoria: Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension & Rural Development. University of Pretoria.
Anonymous. 1995. Potatoes in the 1990s: Situation and prospects of the world potato economy. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the International Potato Center (CIP). ISBN: 92-5-203713-6.
Anonymous. 2011. Censo agro-pecuário 2009–2010. Resultados definitivos. Maputo: Instituto Nacional de Estatística-Moçambique.
Autrey, L. J. C., P. Ferré, A. Dookun, and S. Saumtally. 1991. Seed potato production in the lowland tropics: The Mauritian experience. In Production, post-harvest technology and utilisation of the potato in the warm tropics. Proceedings of a workshop organized by the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute (MSRI), International Potato Center (CIP), and the African Potato Association (APA), 9–38, Reduit, 23–27 July 1990, eds. N. Govinden, M. H. R Julien, G. L. T. Hunt and L. J. C. Autrey. Reduit: MSRI.
Benin, S., J. Thurlow, X. Diao, C. McCool, and F. Simtow. 2012. Malawi. In 2012. Strategies and priorities for African agriculture. Economywide perspective from country studies, 245–279, eds. X. Diao, J. Thurlow, S. Benin, and S. Fan. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). ISBN 978-0-89629-195-9.
Binswanger-Mkhize, H., D. Beyerlee, A. McCalla, M. Morris, and J. Staatz. 2011. The growing opportunities for African agricultural development. Conference working paper 16. Prepared for the ASTI (Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators)/IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute)-FARA (Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa) conference, 5–7 December 2011, Accra, Ghana.
Black, V. 2008. Hot potato. GM potatoes in South Africa—a critical analysis. Johannesburg: The African Centre for Biosafety.
Brooks, K, S. Zorya, and A. Gautam. 2013. Jobs for Africa’s youth. In International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). 2012 Global Food Policy Report, 49–57. Washington, D. C.: IFPRI. ISBN: 978-0-89629-553-7.
Chibonga, D. 2013. Malawi: Macroeconomics, small farmers, and short food supplies. In International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). 2012 Global Food Policy Report, 72. Washington, D. C.: IFPRI. ISBN: 978-0-89629-553-7.
Chitundu, M., K. Droppelmann, and S. Haggblade. 2009. Intervening in value chains: Lessons from Zambia’s task force on acceleration of cassava utilization. Journal of Development Studies 45(4): 593–620. doi:10.1080/00220380802582320.
Demo, P., C. Dominguez, S. Cumbi, and T. Walker. 2005. The potato sub sector and sustainable seed production in Mozambique. Maputo: Report submitted to the International Centre for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).
Demo P, J. W. Low, and J. Mwenye. 2007. Potato production in Malawi: Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. In A. A. Khalf-Allah (ed-in-chief) Potato, sweet potato, and root crops improvement for facing poverty and hunger in Africa, Proceedings of the 7th triennial conference of the African Potato Association (APA), 339–345, Alexandria, Egypt, 22–26 October. Alexandria: APA. ISSN 3934.
Demo, P., P. Pankomera, T. Connel, and N. Khumar. 2009. Potential of potato farming in improving the livelihoods of small-scale farmers in Malawi. In African crop science society conference proceedings 9: 761–765, eds. J. S. Tenywa, G. D. Joubert, D. Marais, P. R. Rubaihayo, and M. P. Nampala. ISNN: 1023-070X.
Diao, X., J. Thurlow, S. Benin, and S. Fan (eds.) 2012. Strategies and priorities for African agriculture. Economywide perspective from country studies. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). ISBN 978-0-89629-195-9.
Dürr, G. 1983. Potato production and utilization in Rwanda. Social Science Department Working paper 1983-1. Lima: International Potato Centre (CIP).
Dürr, G. 1986. The role of the potato in Africa and importance of on-farm research. In Regional seed potato workshop and proceedings of the 1st Triennial meeting of the African Potato Association (APA), Antsirabe, 2–7 November. Antsirabe: FIFAMANOR-CIP-APA.
Emongor, R. A., A. Louw, J. Kirsten, and H. Madevu. 2004. Regoverning markets: Securing small producer participation in restructured national and regional agri-food systems. Zambia country report. Prepared for International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). Pretoria: University of Pretoria.
Ewell, Peter. 1997. International cooperation for the improvement of potato and sweet potato in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Proceedings of the 4th Triennial Congress of the African Potato Association (APA), 157–164, Praetoria, 23–28 February, ed. N. J. J. Mienie. Pretoria: APA. ISBN: 1-86849-086-6.
Fan, S. 2013. Walk the talk. In International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). 2012 Global Food Policy Report, 1–13. Washington, D. C.: IFPRI. ISBN: 978-0-89629-553-7.
Ferris, S., G. Okoboi, C. Crissman, P. Ewell, and B. Lemaga. 2001. Uganda’s Irish potato sector. Mimeo. Kampala: IITA-Foodnet, CIP, PRAPACE, ASERECA.
Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2002. GIEWS special report FAO/WFPCFSAM to Malawi. FAO, Rome Available at http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/y6811e/y6811e00.htm. Accessed Aug 2012.
Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2008. State of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture in Malawi. Lilongwe and Rome: FAO. ISBN: 978-92-5-106534-1.
Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2009. International year of the potato 2008: New light on a hidden treasure. An end-of-year review. Rome: FAO. ISBN 978-92-5-106142-8.
Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2010. Strengthening potato value chains. Technical and policy options for developing countries. Rome: FAO and Common Fund for Commodities (CFC). ISBN 978-92-5-106627-0.
Fuglie, K., and A. Pratt. 2013. Agricultural productivity: A changing global harvest. In International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). 2012 Global Food Policy Report, 15–28. Washington, D. C.: IFPRI. ISBN: 978-0-89629-553-7.
Gildemacher, P., W. Kaguongo, O. Ortiz, A. Tesfaye, G. Woldegiorgis, W. Wagoire, R. Kakuhenzire, P. Kinyae, M. Nyongesa, P. Struick, and C. Leeuwis. 2009. Improving potato production in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia: A system diagnostics. Potato Research 52: 173–205. doi:10.1007/s11540-009-9127-4.
Godfrey-Sam-Agrey, W. 1980. Swaziland. In Root crops in Eastern Africa, Proceedings of a workshop, 119–121, Kigali, 23–27 November. Ottawa: International Development Research Centre (IDRC). ISBN 0-88936-305-6.
Gondwe, W. 1986. Potato production in Malawi. In Regional seed potato workshop and proceedings of the 1st Triennial meeting of the African Potato Association (APA), Antsirabe, 2–7 November. Antsirabe: FIFAMANOR-CIP-APA.
Goossens, F. 2002. Potato marketing in Rwanda. Agricultural policy development project research report No.12. Bethesda: Abt Associates Inc.
Guenthner, J. 2001. The international potato industry. Cambridge: Woodhead. ISBN 1 85573 465 6.
Haase, N., and A. J. Haverkort (eds.). 2006. Potato developments in a changing Europe. Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publishers. ISBN-13: 978-90-8686-011-1.
Haverkort, A.J., A.C. Franke, F.A. Engelbrecht, and J.M. Steyn. 2013. Climate change and potato production in contrasting South African agro-ecosystems 1. Effects on land and water use efficiencies. Potato Research. doi:10.1007/s11540-013-9230-4.
Horton, D. 1978. Potato atlas. International statistics on potato production and utilization. Lima: CIP.
Horton, D. 1981. A plea for the potato. Ceres 14(1): 28–32.
Horton, D. 1987. Potatoes: Production, marketing, and programs for developing countries. Boulder: Westview Press. ISBN (U.S.) 0-133-7197-X.
Horton, D. 1988. Underground crops: Long-term trends in production of roots and tubers. Morrilton: Winrock International. ISBN 0-933595-19-0.
Horton, D., J. Lynam, and H. Knipscheer. 1984. Root crops in developing countries—an economic appraisal. In Proceedings of the Sixth Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops, 9–39. Lima, 21–26 February, eds. F. Schidler and H. Rincón. Lima: CIP.
International Potato Center (CIP). 1999. Potato facts. Processed. Lima: CIP.
International Potato Center (CIP). 2010. Potato facts. Processed. Lima: CIP.
Joyce, M. 1986. Country presentation: Zimbabwe (condensed version). In Regional seed potato workshop and proceedings of the 1st Triennial meeting of the African Potato Association (APA), Antsirabe, 2–7 November. Antsirabe: FIFAMANOR-CIP-APA.
Kaela, Y. 1991. Seed potato production in Zambia. In Proceedings of the 2nd Triennial meeting and conference of the African Potato Association (APA), 59–63, Reduit, 23–27 July 1990, eds. L. J. C. Autrey, G. L. T. Hunt, N. Govinden, and P. Ferré. Reduit: Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute.
Kagona, J. 2008. The incidence of bacterial wilt in informal potato planting material used by farmers in Dedza and Ntcheu districts in Malawi. MSc thesis. Department of international environment and development studies. Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
Karoto, M. 1986. Programme of seed potato production. In Regional seed potato workshop and the 1st Triennial meeting of the African Potato Association (APA), Antsirabe, 2–7 November. Antsirabe: APA.
Kherallah, M., C. Delgado, E. Gabre-Mahdin, N. Minot, and M. Johnson. 2002. Reforming agricultural markets in Africa. Washington, D. C.: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN: 0-8018-7198-0.
Labarta, R. 2012. The genetic improvement of potato and sweetpotato in Sub-Saharan Africa. Report to the diffusion and impact of improved varieties in Africa (DIIVA) project. Nairobi: CIP.
Low, J., I. Barker, M. Bonierbale, C. Crissman, G. Forbes, B. Lemaga, and S. Priou. 2007. Emerging trends and advances in potato research relevant to defining the way forward for the potato sector in Sub-Saharan Africa. In A. A. Khalf-Allah (ed-in-chief) Potato, sweet potato, and root crops improvement for facing poverty and hunger in Africa, Proceedings of the 7th Triennial Congress of the African Potato Association (APA), 8–17, Alexandria, Egypt, 22–26 October 2007. Alexandria: APA. ISSN 3934.
Matungul, P.M., M.C. Lyne, and G.F. Ortmann. 2001. Transaction costs and crop marketing in the communal areas of Impendle and Swayimana, KwaZulu-Natal. Development Southern Africa 18(3): 347–363. doi:10.1080/0376835012007001 7.
Minot, N. 2010. Staple food prices in Malawi. Paper prepared for the Comesa policy seminar on “Variation in staple food prices: Causes, consequences, and policy options”. Maputo, Mozambique, 25–26 January under the African Agricultural Marketing Project (AAMP).
Minten, B. 2008. The food retail revolution in developing countries: Is it coming or is it over? Economic Development and Cultural Change 56(4): 767–789.
National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) & Commark Trust. 2007. A diagnostic study of the potato sub sector: Unlocking the potential contribution for ASGI-SA. Pretoria: NAMC and Commark Trust.
Prakash, A. 2010. Introduction. The role of potato in developing country food systems. In Strengthening potato value chains. Technical and policy options for developing countries. Rome: FAO and Common Fund for Commodities (CFC). ISBN 978-92-5-106627-0.
Rakoto, M. 1986. Programme of seed potato production. In Regional seed potato workshop and proceedings of the 1st Triennial meeting of the African Potato Association (APA), Antsirabe, 2–7 November. Antsirabe: FIFAMANOR-CIP-APA.
Rakotondramanana. 1986. Research and basic seed production at FIFAMANOR. In Regional seed potato workshop and proceedings of the 1st Triennial meeting of the African Potato Association (APA), Antsirabe, 2–7 November. Antsirabe: FIFAMANOR-CIP-APA.
Rasolo, F. 1986. La filière pomme de terre á Madagascar: Résultats d’étude sur la production, la commercialisation et la consommation. In Regional seed potato workshop and proceedings of the 1st Triennial meeting of the African Potato Association (APA), Antsirabe, 2–7 November. Antsirabe: FIFAMANOR-CIP-APA.
Rasolo, F., D. Randrianaivo, H. Abel Ratovo, D. Andrianorosoa, D. Adriambahoaka, R. Razafindraibe, Rakotondramanana, and G. Scott. 1987. La pomme de terre pour l’autosuffisance alimentaire à Madagascar. Antananarivo: FOFIFA, FIFAMANOR, CIP.
Reyes, B., C. Donavan, and V. Kelly. 2010. Raising the incomes of smallholder farmers in the central highlands of Angola: A model project for improving agricultural value chains in post conflict nations. A baseline report to World Vision. East Lansing: Michigan State University.
Reyes, B., C. Donovan, R. Bernsten, and M. Maredia. 2012. Market participation and sale of potatoes by smallholder farmers in the central highlands of Angola: A double hurdle approach. Selected poster presentation for the International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE) Triennial Conference, Foz do Iguaçu, 18–24 August.
Saka, V. W. 2000. Potato production in Malawi. In Potatoes for poverty alleviation. Proceedings of the 5th Triennial Congress of the African Potato Association (APA), 39–42, Kampala, 29 May–02 June, eds. E. Adipala, P. Nampala, and M. Osiru. Kampala: APA and the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO). ISBN: 1607–9353.
Scott, G. 1988. Potatoes in Central Africa: A study of Burundi, Rwanda and Zaire. Lima: International Potato Center (CIP).
Scott, G. 1990. Potatoes in the food systems of Sub-Saharan Africa: Present patterns and future prospects. In Production, post-harvest technology and utilisation of the potato in the warm tropics. Proceedings of a workshop organized by the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute (MSRI), International Potato Center (CIP), and the African Potato Association (APA), 122–129, Reduit, 23–27 July 1990, eds. N. Govinden, M. H. R. Julien, G. L. T. Hunt and L. J. C. Autrey. Reduit: MSRI.
Scott, G. 1992. Trends and prospects for the potato South of the Sahara. In Product development for root and tuber crops. Vol. III-Africa, Proceedings of the international workshop, 121–132, Ibadan, Nigeria, 26, October–2, November 1991, eds. G. Scott, P. Ferguson, and J. Herrera. Lima: CIP. ISBN 92-9060-165-9.
Scott, G. 1995. Wall-to-wall fieldwork: Secondary data collection for food systems research. In Prices, products, and people: analyzing agricultural markets in developing countries, ed. G. Scott. Boulder: Lynne Rienner Pub.; International Potato Center (CIP). ISBN 1-55587-609-9.
Scott, G. 2002. Maps, models, and muddles: World trends and patterns in potato revisited. Potato Research 45: 45–77.
Scott, G. 2011. Growth rates for potatoes in Latin America in comparative perspective: 1961–07. American Journal of Potato Research 88: 143–152. doi:10.1007/s12230-010-9171-2.
Scott, G., and V. Suarez. 2011. Growth rates for potato in India 1961–2009 and their implications for industry. Potato Journal 38(2): 100–112.
Scott, G., and V. Suarez. 2012a. The rise of Asia as the center of global potato production and some implications for industry. Potato Journal 39(1): 1–22.
Scott, G., and V. Suarez. 2012b. Limits to growth or growth to the limits? trends and prospects for potatoes in China and their implications for industry. Potato Research 55(2): 135–156. doi:10.1007/s11540-012-9215-8.
Scott, G., and V. Suarez. 2012c. From Mao to McDonald’s: Emerging markets for potatoes and potato products in China 1961–2007. American Journal of Potato Research 89(3): 216–231. doi:10.1007/s12230-012-9246-3.
Scott, G., and V. Suarez. 1992. Transforming traditional food crops: product development for roots and tubers. In Product development for root and tuber Crops. Vol. III-Africa, Proceedings of the international workshop, Ibadan, Nigeria, 3–23, 26, October-2, November 1991, eds. G. Scott, P. Ferguson, and J. Herrera. Lima: CIP. ISBN 92-9060-165-9.
Scott, G., and F. Zelada. 2011. Benchmarking the competitiveness of informal food processors: The case of French fries in Lima, Perú. Potato Research 54(1): 29–44. doi:10.1007/s11540-010-9182-x.
Scott, G., M. Rosegrant, and C. Ringler. 2000. Roots and tubers for the 21st century: Trends, projections, and policy options. Food, Agriculture, and the Environment Discussion paper 31. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and International Potato Center (CIP). ISBN: 0-89629-635-0.
Scott, G., R. Labarta, and V. Suarez. 2013. Booms, busts, and emerging markets for potatoes in East and Central Africa 1961–2010. Potato Research. Forthcoming.
Serage, K. L., W.T. Nell, M. Makla, and J.P.C. Tolmay. 2002. Possible predictors determining the adoption of potatoes (solanum tuberosum) into a wheat- (triticum aestivum) based cropping system in Mokhotlong, Lesotho. Paper prepared for presentation at the 13th International Farm Management Congress, Wageningen, July 7–12, 2002.
Tesfaye A., B. Lemaga, J. Mwakasendo, Z. Nzohabonayoz, J. Mutware, K.Y. Wanda, P.M. Kinyae, O. Ortiz, C. Crissman, and G. Theile 2010. Markets for fresh and frozen potato chips in the ASERECA region and the potential for regional trade: Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi and Uganda. Social Sciences working paper 2010–1. Lima: CIP. ISSN 0256-8748.
Thiele, G., K. Theisen, M. Bonierbale, and T. Walker. 2010. Targeting the poor and hungry with potato science. Potato Journal 37(3–4): 75–86.
Van der Zaag, D., and D. Horton. 1983. Potato production and utilization in world perspective with special reference to the tropics and sub-tropics. Potato Research 26: 323–362.
Walker, T., P. Schmiediche, and R. Hijmans. 1999. World patterns and trends in the potato crop: An economic and geographic survey. Potato Research 42: 241–264.
Walker, T., G. Thiele, V. Suarez, and C. Crissman. 2011. Hindsight and foresight about potato production and consumption. Social Sciences working paper 2011–5. Lima: CIP. ISSN 0256-8748.
Weatherspoon, D.D., and T. Reardon. 2003. The rise of supermarkets in Africa: Implications for agrifood systems and the rural poor. Development Policy Review 21(3): 1–17.
Webber, C.M., and P. Labaste. 2010. Building competitiveness in Africa’s agriculture. Washington, D.C.: International Bank for Reconstruction Development (IBRD), Washington, D.C. ISBN: 978-0-8213-7952-3.
Woolfe, J. 1987. The potato in the human diet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0 521 32669 9.
World Bank. 2007. International development association interim strategy note for the Republic of Angola. Washington: Southern Africa Country Department 2 (AFCS2).
World Bank. 2011. World Development Indicators (Edition: April 2011). Manchester: ESDS International, University of Manchester. ISBN 978-0-8213-8709-2.
We are grateful to Henry Juarez of CIP’s Research Informatics Unit for sharing the revised map of potato production in Africa.
Appendix. Some Reflections on Statistics for Potatoes in Sub-Saharan Africa
Appendix. Some Reflections on Statistics for Potatoes in Sub-Saharan Africa
The literature on potatoes in Africa is riddled with examples—some acknowledged, others not—of inconsistencies in the data on production and utilization as has been noted by a number of previous studies: Scott (1988) for Democratic Republic of the Congo (ex- Zaïre), Ferris et al. (2001) for Uganda; Dürr (1983) and Goossens (2002) for Rwanda, Gildemacher et al. (2009) for Ethiopia, to cite but a few examples. The vast majority of instances, but by no means all, involve published statistics for production, area, and yields and the differences between national figures versus those published by FAOSTAT. Another substantial set of differences concern discrepancies between national reporting agencies, for example, the Ministry of Agriculture versus the Census Bureau or the National Agricultural Research Institute. Given this reality, a number of observations are in order.
First, problems with the accuracy of data on potatoes in SA are by no means peculiar to this sub-region (Scott and Suarez 2012b). For decades, informed observers have pointed to the various features of potatoes in developing countries (e.g. grown by small farmers, in isolated production zones, in multiple-cropping or relay cropping patterns, intercropped with other commodities such as maize, characterized by staggered harvests in the same field and with little foreign trade) that lend it to being susceptible to inaccurate reporting (Horton 1981, 1987, 1988)—even in industrialized countries (Scott 2002). However, many of the same considerations apply to other crops and livestock in developing countries.
Second, it might be argued that the factors mentioned above are more acute for potatoes in SA given the political and therefore institutional instability that has characterized the region’s history over much of the last five decades. In addition, the crop is well down on the list of major food commodities in most the countries even in some where production is relatively high. In effect, where resources are scarce, less attention is given to those commodities that are perceived as less important. Unfortunately for potatoes, the extent to which the crop is underreported, these sorts of circumstances make for something of a self-perpetuating scenario.
Third, several of the major potato-producing countries simply have not collected and/or disseminated annual statistics on potato production, area and yields in perpetual fashion. For example, Gildemacher et al. (2009) refer to unpublished data on potato production in Ethiopia 1995–2000. Hence, aside from the question of their accuracy, the historical time-series on potato output are incomplete (e.g. for Madagascar, see Rasolo 1986) or sometimes unavailable.
Finally, given this situation, the discrepancies are there. Hence, the question what if anything can be made of them? For Malawi, the most blatant case of overestimation, various sources have noted the major difference between the figures reported by FAO and those disseminated by other, national sources (Saka 2000; Demo et al. 2009; Minot 2010). Conversations with crop specialists have confirmed this phenomenon. But, in this particular case, an alternative exists in the form of times-series data on production and area that we have extended back in time to have a complete set of statistics for the period in question (Table 8). These data also offer a reasonable explanation of why the differences between data sets exist and therefore a justification for their use instead of FAO figures in this paper. FAOSTAT reports that Malawi produces no sweet potatoes when the data and FAO mission reports indicate that it does (FAO 2002).
About this article
Cite this article
Scott, G.J., Labarta, R. & Suarez, V. Benchmarking Food Crop Markets in Southern Africa: The Case of Potatoes and Potato Products 1961–2010. Am. J. Potato Res. 90, 497–515 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12230-013-9322-3
- Private sector