Drought Stiffens High Prices In Markets


Vegetable and fruit prices pushed higher in recent weeks have stiffened in markets on the North Coast, checks by Jamaica Today have shown.

The main cause of the price hikes is the shortage of vegetables caused by the dry spell affecting the North Coast and areas from which produce come to markets.

Markets checked in Falmouth, Trelawny and St Ann’s Bay and Brown’s Town, St Ann show many vendors with smaller than usual loads.

A shortage of onions continues, although it seems there has been some unannounced importation.

Onions are selling at $300 to $400 per pound and escallion, sometimes used as a substitute, is being sold for $250 to $400.

The following are per pound prices for some vegetables:

Lettuce $300-$400; Pak choi $100-$150; Plummy (small) tomatoes $80-$120; Salad tomatoes $150-$200 and cabbage $100-$150.

Fruits are also in short supply. Oranges remain scarce and are fetching up to $700 per dozen. Mangoes are now in short supply with the favoured East Indian at $150- $300 each and St Julian or Juli $100 and up. Watermelon is selling for $100 a pound.

Prices for ground provisions are up slightly but shoppers are still able to bargain on those produce.


Franklin McKnight

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