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Drought causes spike in price of market produce

Expect to pay more for basic market produce like cucumbers, lettuce and cabbage, as drought conditions have resulted in higher prices.

According to President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) Lenworth Fulton, drought conditions have resulted in lower crop yields.

As a result, Fulton said Jamaican consumers can expect to see a significant price hike for crops. Fulton said most crops would be retailing for well over $100 JMD (0.70 USD) per pound.

“Most of them are over $100, some in the region of over $150,$ 200 such as lettuce,” said Fulton.

“Cabbage is very expensive over $100, cucumber $100 and over. Broccoli, cauliflower are all over $100 and close to $200. It’s not something that our general populace can afford, ” added Fulton.

Photo of Coronation Market in downtown Kingston. Photo Credit: JIS

Fulton said that part of the problem is the lack of variety, noting that Jamaica doesn’t have the type of varieties of crops that can withstand the high temperatures.

“Irrigation alone is not the issue, we have to get researchers to work to develop vegetables that can thrive in high temperatures,” said Fulton.

Fulton also shared that Irish potatoes, yams and sweet potatoes are also scarce.

The JAS said that while he is hoping that the country will not have to import food, it may be necessary in the short term to feed the population.




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