Barranquilla - Growers of potatoes in the department of Boyaca (Colombia) prefer to leave potatoes on their fields rather than obtaining lower prices. This is negatively affecting the production with the apparition of plagues in the cultivation zones, declared Colombian phytosanitary authorities.
On the other hand, the overproduction of the region has implications to the trade policy with Venezuela. The company Frito Lay-Venezuela (producer of chips) did not get permission of the Venezuelan government to import 5000 tons of potatoes (variety R-12 Diacol Capiro Industrial) for its industry. Venezuelan authorities argue that the company should use domestic potatoes for its processing. Boyacá has 50,000 tons available for this industry, according to the Agricultural Secretary of Boyacá. Firm representatives of Frito Lay-Colombia asked Colombian authorities to deliberate with Venezuela to solve this crisis as soon as possible.
Potato cultivation in Colombia generates economic benefits for approximately 250 municipalities which are depending on this sector for their income, mainly from the departments of Cundinamarca and Boyaca with around 160,000 hectares. 50,000 small scale producers depend on this activity.