Prices likely to rise

Saten Kumar clears debris from his eggplant farm in Bilalevu, Sigatoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Saten Kumar clears debris from his eggplant farm in Bilalevu, Sigatoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

FARMERS in Bilalevu, Sigatoka anticipate a rise in vegetable prices at the local municipal markets after the flooding caused by Severe Tropical Cyclone Keni this week.

A number of farms were inundated by floodwaters, with crops damaged by strong wind. For Shireen Lata, this week marked the third round of flooding for residents in the past month.

“Some of our farms were flooded by rainwater and the others by the flooded river so it has been a difficult time for us,” she said.

“We mostly farm eggplant, chillies and pawpaw and most of our products have been destroyed.

“We farm for export purposes and whatever is left is supplied to our local markets.

“This time of the year is very bad for us because we experience a lot of rain and at times, our homes are flooded too. This is even more costly for us.”

Another farmer Pratibha Kumar said the majority of their crops were underwater during the cyclone and it would take a while before fields dried completely.

“There will be a shortage in the amount of produce we can supply and this means prices can likely increase,” she said.

“We are still trying to see how we can save whatever items we can, but most of the produce is in bad condition.”