The prices for vegetables at several markets across Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) have skyrocketed over the past few weeks, thus severely impacting the retail prices in Georgetown.
Region Six, an agriculture-based region, supplies a large percentage of the vegetables exported and consumed in the capital city, but consumers in that regiona are now expressing concern over the increases.
In fact, when the borders were closed last year due to the pandemic, cash crop farmers in the region were hard hit as the export market came to a halt and even those who were not exporting felt the impact as the local market was being flooded, sending prices down.
Some large eggplant producers refused to reap, saying that the cost to reap the vegetables was more than what they were getting when they sold it.
That vegetable was being wholesaled for $1000 for a bag of 100. At that time, the price in the New Amsterdam Market was between 3 and 5 for $100. At the Port Mourant and Corriverton Markets, the prices were even better for the consumer.
Contrastingly, the same vegetable is now being wholesaled at $7000 and over per bag.
As such, the prices for bora, pumpkins and squash have tripled at the New Amsterdam Market, with ochroes which were recently being sold at two pounds for $100 now going at $200 per pound. Cabbage, which was sold at $80 per pound has been increased to $300 and $350 per pound.
In the city, consumers are seeing a similar increase in prices at the municipal markets and even larger increases in supermarkets.
“The prices really have not gone up for everything, but they are giving you less for the same amount of money, so you have to spend more,” one Bourda Market shopper told <<<Guyana Times>>>.
Meanwhile, Chinese restaurants have increased the prices for foods due to the increased vegetable prices.
Region Six Chairman, David Armogan in an invited comment explained that the issue arose from the lack of water and in some cases flooding in Black Bush Polder, where a high percentage of the vegetables come from.
He explained that extreme weather conditions are being experienced by cash crop farmers, who are having little time to adjust to the changes. He noted that several days of rainfall caused some flooding in the Polder.
“Cash crops have suffered tremendously as a result of the floods. That is why you would find that vegetables in the market place have gone up because a lot of the crops have been destroyed and damaged as a result of the flood situation.”
However, Armogan said the high prices for greens are expected to drop soon. “All of these things will resolve itself as people go back to the fields,” the Regional Chairman reiterated.