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Vegetable Prices Set to Drop by 20%



Vegetable Prices Set to Drop by 20%

Consumers can soon expect to see lower prices on vegetables at the market in the coming days. Farmers report that vegetable gardens are in better shape and a bountiful harvest is expected, though not all vegetables are included in the price drop.

Tomatoes and peppers still seem to be struggling. Farmers emphasize that their work remains laborious.

Recent rains are not expected to have a major impact on crops, according to Krit Beeharry, a member of the Planters’ Platform of the Islands.

He states that any potential damage would mostly be seen in new seeds. “However, it is possible to easily remedy the damage caused. Within seven days, young plants can regrow,” he says.

He also notes that crops are entering their peak period. “We should start to see an abundance of vegetables, possibly even surpluses, starting in April.”

However, he explains that farmers need to prepare their fields to be able to produce, which explains the difficulties in restarting production, especially after the drought at the end of last year and the passage of Cyclone Belal in January.

“This requires planning. Although we work quickly, being in the private sector, it also involves high costs. The Rs 10,000 aid offered to registered farmers is insignificant.”

Indeed, some farmers were unable to benefit from this aid because they were not registered, even though they work daily in the fields to produce vegetables.

“It takes at least Rs 45,000 to restart an acre that has suffered damages from Mother Nature,” he explains, especially due to soil mineral depletion.

Krit Beeharry calls on authorities not to focus only on infrastructure such as greenhouses but also to consider soil infrastructure. “We have dug deep into our own pockets to rehabilitate the fields.”

He emphasizes that this is one of the reasons why young people are not attracted to this sector. “We are suffering greatly from the effects of climate change and the loss of labor.”

He predicts a decrease of about 20% in vegetable prices within a fortnight. On the other hand, Sanjeev Dindyal, president of the Centrewest Small Planters Association, also highlights the problem of labor shortages in this sector.

“Many planters have faced and continue to face difficulties in restarting their activities. Many are discouraged, especially after the recent hardships caused by nature.

We are facing a liquidity problem,” he explains. He adds that all costs are constantly increasing. “Seeds are expensive, especially since 80% of them are imported. With the depreciation of the rupee, it becomes difficult because importers resell them to us at high prices.”

Despite these difficulties, Sanjeev Dindyal predicts a return of vegetables to the shelves. “Herbs are already available, eggplants and greens will also soon be available.

However, the price of tomatoes will decrease slightly, but not as much, as we will need to wait for a return to normalcy, especially in terms of climate.”

According to him, to solve this recurring problem of vegetable shortages every year, it would be necessary to be able to store them when they are abundant, especially during the months of September and October.

“I mentioned this during a budget consultation. But we were told that it is the farmers who must store them. However, we do not have the necessary means to have large cold rooms. Thus, it is the consumers who will continue to suffer the consequences…”

Source: l’Express

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