AFTER onions, sugar and rice, the potato is now the latest food item to be hit with a price spike, according to latest data from the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Based on its price monitoring, DA reported the weekly average price of 10 to 12 pieces of white potato in selected markets in the National Capital Region (NCR) from October 16 to 20, 2023 reached as high as P229.19.
This was 80 percent higher compared to its average weekly price of P127.21 of white potatoes from August 21 to 25, 2023.
In a press statement issued last Monday, Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa attributed the trend to typhoon damage to the country’s agriculture sector in previous months.
“This [price increase of potatoes] may be attributed to the typhoons that hit the country during the months of July and August,” De Mesa said.
However, the prices of other vegetables have changed slightly or even dropped since last August.
Among the vegetables which became even cheaper in the last two months based on DA’s weekly price monitoring in NCR were eggplant, carrots, Baguio beans, pechay and chayote.
Even the price of red onions, which reached as high as P720 per kilogram (kg) last December due to a supply shortage, were being sold at between P140 and P142 per kg.
The price of sugar and rice, which also experienced similar price spikes earlier this year, have remained stable this month.
De Mesa said they are confident the price of potato will “normalize” amid the ongoing harvest season.
“The peak of harvest within the last quarter this year up to the first quarter of next year-2024 will make a positive impact on the supply and prices of potatoes,” he said.
Image credits: J.R. Simplot Company via AP