NEWS

DROUGHT: Continued Dry Spell, Veggie Prices Up

There has been a 50 to 100  per cent increase in the cost of vegetables in the Western Division over the past weeks. Lautoka market vendor Satareki Vurai said the
04 Nov 2017 11:16
DROUGHT: Continued Dry Spell, Veggie Prices Up
Satareki Vurai selling vegetables at Lautoka Market on November 3, 2017. Photo: Kathrin Krishna

There has been a 50 to 100  per cent increase in the cost of vegetables in the Western Division over the past weeks.

Lautoka market vendor Satareki Vurai said the severe drought experienced in the West was responsible for the price hike.

“Three weeks ago I used to buy cabbage for $20 a bag from farmers but last week the price went up to $35 a bag,” Mr Vurai said.

“Tomatoes were sold at $25 a tray but now it has gone up to $40 a tray,” he said.

He was particularly surprised with the price of cucumber which used be $25 a bag. He is now buying the same for $50 a bag.

Then there is a drop in the wholesale cost of root crops.

“This is probably because root crops grow better during the dry season,” he said.

“I used to buy kumala and cassava for $80 a bag but now it has gone down to $45-$50 a bag.”

With the increase in vegetable prices market vendors have also topped up the cost of vegetables to recover cost and make a profit.

“Customers understand, majority do not ask about the new prices.”

Housewife Sushil Lata, 45 said that she noticed the change in the quantity of vegetables.

“Tomatoes are still sold for $2 a heap here at Ba Market but the quantity is less. I have to pay almost $4 to get the same quantity of tomatoes I used to get for $2 before the dry spell,” Ms Lata said,

Lily Koroi, 60, from Tavua also said that the price of root crops and chillies were going down but the price of vegetables like rourou, cabbage, and cucumber was going up.

“Some stalls have the same prices but the quantity has  gone down,” Ms Koroi said.

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola

Feedback: kathrin.krishna@fijisun.com.fj



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