The consumption of potatoes has increased over the last couple of years, with the per capita consumption reported at an estimated 37,5 kilograms in 2017. The graph below shows that there is a positive correlation between potatoes consumed and potatoes produced. During periods of lower production, due to, for example uncontrollable factors such as a drought, consumption declined to match supply, as was the case in 2016.
South Africa is the largest producer of potatoes within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. The figure below depicts South Africa’s potato production between 2001 and 2018. Between 2015 and 2016, potato production declined by 358 thousand tons. This was ascribed by to drought conditions experience by the country in 2016. Production picked up in the year 2017 showing an improvement of 14% from the previous year. South Africa produced an estimated 2.4 million tons of potatoes in 2018, which translates into a 14% increase for the period 2016 to 2018.