Potato farmers in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region have managed to solve overstocking problems by selling their extra potatoes to foreign buyers.
Agricultural authorities in Darhanmaominganlianhe banner (county) said Wednesday that they have signed deals with several southeast Asian countries, including Thailand and Indonesia, to export 50,000 metric tons of potatoes.
This autumn's record-setting potato harvest resulted in a potato surplus, with potato prices dropping by 30 to 50 percent year-on-year. Darhanmaominganlianhe has 250,000 metric tons of surplus potatoes.
Local farmers have had difficulty recouping their expenses because of slow potato sales. Farmer Di Shangying said the money he has earned from selling potatoes so far will barely offset his production costs.
On Oct. 10, the Ministry of Commerce urged Inner Mongolia's local commerce administrations to solve the problem, issuing a circular that encouraged supermarkets to establish direct ties with potato farmers and asking export companies to purchase more potatoes.
An agricultural official with the government of Darhanmaominganlianhe said the county is talking to potato purchasers in the United States and Dubai about expanding potato exports.
The county has also directly sent 115,000 metric tons of potatoes to Chinese supermarkets this month through cooperative agreements created with the help of local commerce departments.