THE continuous heavy rain in the West has affected land preparation and farming and this could result in a spike in vegetable and root crop prices as well as contribute to shortages over the next few months.
"The rain and flooding of low-lying areas, especially where crops are being grown, are of concern but we can't do much," said Agriculture Ministry deputy secretary Uraia Waibuta.
"The continuous rain has slowed down land preparation considerably and this has affected farmers' ability to plant which will result in shortages over the next two and a half months.
"Due to the adverse effect on crop production, the shortage of crop supply will drive prices up for at least the remainder of this month."
Mr Waibuta said vegetable and root crop supply should normalise in three to four months' time.
He urged vegetable and root crop farmers to slow down production until the wet weather spell clears.
"Our advice to these growers is to slow down until we go past this rainy period.
"This is especially to farmers in Yaladro Flats in Tavua and other similar areas.
"It is unfortunate that farmers continuously have to face the consequences of frequent floods but they can help themselves by slowing down production until things clear up."