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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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Another Increase In The Prices Of Vegetables To Be Expected Due To The Bad Weather

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Consumers have still not accepted the existing rise in vegetable prices and now, there are the heavy rain falls and strong winds from Batsirai which have started to affect the cultivation of vegetables and fruits across the island. In the coming weeks, vegetable prices are expected to further increase. While the effects of Cyclone Batsirai are highlighted, these are not the only factors explaining this increase. The further rise in prices can be estimated to be between 5% and 10% due to a decline in production because of several factors, including the damage caused to crops by the Cyclone Batsirai.

Already, the price of certain vegetables, such as beans and calabash, have already showed an increase in price. For example, “half a kilo of beans is being sold for Rs 75 at the market and the price of tomatoes are varying between Rs40 to Rs75. Chillies are being sold at Rs50 ¼ a Kilo and it continues like that.” According to some cultivators, thing are not going to be easy in the upcoming days.

Some companies in the cultivation and distribution of vegetables are saying the same. With the arrival of Batsirai, fragile plants like squash and zucchini have already begun to break in two and it won’t be astonishing to see the destruction of many crops with the rain and gusts of the cyclone.

The most vulnerable crops are those of aromatic herbs (cotomili, green onions), tomatoes and chili peppers. Ssom of the cultivators specializing in those aromatic herbs have already noticed the instant effect that the weather is having on those cultivations but it is only in a few days’ time that they will know what are the real damages. But for sure, a decrease in production is anticipated with an increase in the prices of the vegetables.

A member of the Agricultural Development Marketing Association stated that “vegetables’ production will be revised downwards due to bad weather.” Not to mention, he said, that some tomato crops are currently affected by diseases. “The necessary has been done to avoid further damage,” he said.

Faced with this situation, the planters want the intervention of the Ministry of Agro-industry. They do not hide their concern about the future of the sector by highlighting that the production costs are already high and the losses caused by the cyclone will be another blow from which they will struggle to recover.

That is why they are asking for aid plans to be made available to them. Otherwise, they warn, there are the risks of the agricultural sector disappearing and the country will therefore have to depend on the importation of fruit and vegetables.

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