Ireland produced only 0.6% of the EU’s potatoes in 2014

Ireland produced only 0.6% of the EU’s potatoes (in 2014), new figures released on the potato sector from Eurostat show.

In fact, only 1% of arable land in Ireland is now devoted to potato growing, compared to an EU average of 1.5% and a high of 15% in the Netherlands, the figures show.

However on a positive note, Irish consumers pay less for potatoes than almost anyone else in Europe.

In 2013 the latest EU figures that have been collected, show that the average cost of a kilo of potatoes in Ireland was €0.47 compared to €1.39 in Luxembourg. Only Poland, Latvia and Lithuania were cheaper.

A total of 59m tonnes of potatoes were harvested in the EU in 2014 (down by 28.9 % from 2000) and Eurostat figures show that Germany was the number one producer with 19.7% of the crop.

The next biggest producers were France (13.6 %), Poland (12.6 %), the Netherlands (12.0 %) and the United Kingdom (10.0 %).

According to Eurostat, this means that, of every three tonnes, two were grown in just five Member States.

Meanwhile, almost 1.6m hectares in Europe are under potatoes, with the figures showing that nearly 50% of which are in Poland, Germany and France.

The average potato area per farm in Europe was 0.8ha while in Denmark it reached 20.6ha. In the Netherlands, 15% of all arable land was under potato, while the figure for the EU as a whole was 1.5%.