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Climate Change Affects Vegetable Supplies: Vendor

Climate Change Affects Vegetable Supplies: Vendor
Kuldip Chand selling vegetables at Labasa market on April 23. Photo: Shratika Naidu
April 27
11:00 2018

Rippling effects of climate change are no longer a joke. So says Labasa mar­ket vendor Kuldip Chand of Siberia.

Mr Chand who has been selling vegetables at Labasa market for more than 30 years says a lot has changed over the years with regards to the vegetables supply.

“The influencing factor has been the change in weather pattern,” Mr Chand said.

“When I started selling at the market there were few vendors like less than a hundred,” he said.

“Today it is more than a hundred.

“During that time there were more farm­ers supplying vegetables to the market, more vegetables available and at less cost.

“For example, 30 years back the cost of chauraiya used to be 30 cents a bundle and now it is $3,” the father of three children said.

“After I dropped out from Bulileka Sanatan College Year Ten, I started vegetable farm­ing and gradually started selling at the market.”

Even during off season from November to April there used to be variety of vegetables in great supply.

Now the supply has dropped.

“And now even when we expect days with­out rain, there will be heavy rain,” he said.

The 57-year-old grandfather said he had a vegetable farm at Boubale in Labasa and it was recently damaged by Tropical Cyclone Josie and Keni.

“I planted half an acre each of eggplant, okra, corn and all were destroyed,” he said with great grief.

“There was close to $2000 worth of damage on my farm.

“The last time I experienced great loss was during Cyclone Ami in 2003 and then this year.

“How are we going to manage I don’t know.

“There was a time where my table used to be full of vegetables and today I have only okra to sell.

“Lot of things have changed and are uncontrollable

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