Yaqona prices double following cyclone

AGRICULTURAL damage caused by Severe TC Winston has resulted in the high price of $70 to $80 a kilogram for grog (waka) in the North.

And the high price may be around for the next six months because grog farms have been damaged, sparing no matured plants.

But the vendors have not complained because customers continue to buy despite the high price.

The increase in price has also been caused by a shortage of supply to the market from farmers because most had lost their yaqona farms to the cyclone.

Anush Prasad, a vendor, said business had never been better.

“Even though the price of grog has gone up, people are still buying just like how they used to with the old price of $30 to $40 a kg of waka,” he said.

“We have to spend more when buying from farmers like $70 or $75 per kg of waka so when we sell to customers, it is more by $5. The business is good because we earn more money now as people buy grog every day.”

Mr Prasad said it had not been easy buying from farmers.

“Because of the shortage, we have to travel out to villages to locate farmers with grog otherwise, most places have run out of grog,” he said.

“Sometimes, the farmers come here to the market to sell and when that happens, we don’t have to go out.”

Another vendor, Dinesh Kumar, said the shortage of grog had forced many, including farmers, to increase their price.

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