Salads, stews, and a range of other mouth-watering dishes – adding a few potatoes or tomatoes to anything is sure to get anyone drooling. Unfortunately, consumers of these delicious vegetables have been having a bit of a tough time as prices continue to surge.
According to IOL, the price for tomatoes have increased by 21% while potato lovers will have to be happy with an increase of 39%. The reason for the price hike is due to heavy rains that have affected harvests with fresh produce markets receiving significantly fewer tomatoes.
Thankfully, AgriSA executive director Christo van der Rheede stated that he doesn’t believe that rains will pose a threat for the new year as crops are grown across areas that experience rains in different parts of the year.
However, with the festive season rolling around, there is a significant demand for fresh produce.
“A lot of people are buying in stock at this time. Yes, the rain will be a setback but produce is produced in different areas so we expect this to bring the price down,” he indicated during his weekly video that tracks market prices for fresh produce.
Along with this, increasing petrol and diesel prices have had a major impact on farmers with increasing costs of fertiliser also noted as a challenge.
“Our biggest challenge at this point is the massive spike in fertiliser prices. Also (the cost of) herbicides, labour and packaging has increased,” he said.
Tomato volumes in South Africa’s sixth-largest market took a major dip from 1 800 pallets on November 26 to 928 pallets on December 2, as per Business Insider.
While the festive season might mean potato mash and green salads with a sprinkle of tomatoes, these vegetables are a staple food within South Africa and a fall in supply is immediately felt as prices increase and demand remains the same.