Shortage of vegetables drives up price

Suva Municipal market vendor Tevita Mateinakula. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Suva Municipal market vendor Tevita Mateinakula. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

TEVITA Mateinakula, 58, who has been a market vendor for the past 24 years, says root crops are in short supply right now as suppliers aren’t harvesting because of the wet weather.

“My suppliers told me they couldn’t harvest any dalo over the weekend because of the constant rain so I had to buy my produce from elsewhere,” Mr Mateinakula said.

He said he understood that there had been heavy flooding in the West and Sigatoka over Easter and he expected the price of root crops to increase.

“Because of the flooding in the West including Sigatoka and the current cyclone affecting all of Fiji, the price of root crops, especially dalo, which bears its fruit underground, will increase because these produce will be in short supply.

“We could be facing post-Winston prices again where dalo was selling at more than $20 bundle and cassava, now selling at $5 heap would be up to $10,” he said.

Meanwhile, 35-year-old vegetable and fruit market vendor Alumita Mavoa, who gets her pawpaws from Sigatoka suppliers, says the price of pawpaws have increased since the Easter flooding.

“Now we are buying at $75 a case when previously we used to pay $35-$40,” Ms Mavoa said.

She said some suppliers/farmers may not have been affected by the floods but use this as an excuse to increase their price.

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