Farm produce surplus on market, prices reduced
Launtia Cuff, Gleaner Writer
SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth:
Although the drought that had adversely affected St Elizabeth farmers has now ended, it has proven to be little relief for farmers and vendors as there is now a glut on the market, causing prices to be drastically reduced.
"We have sufficient rainfall; the only thing now is a glut on the market, meaning that too much of one thing is on the market, so prices have gone down. The farmer cannot make back his principal investment," lamented Lincoln Facey.
"That usually happens after a drought, so during the drought, the farmers, because of lack of water, can't put out anything; as soon as the first shower of rain, farmers make good use of the wet soil to plant their seeds," Facey explained.
Ms Sharon, a vendor in the Santa Cruz market, said business is slow as availability outweighs the demand.
"It kinda hectic now because the produce them come back round and the things them get plenty in market, so it selling cheap. Anytime it too much, it hectic for the sellers; anytime it too scarce, the same thing.
Supply and demand
"Me prefer when it there long as it can get. When it expensive, you don't find a lot of people have it 'cause you find some of the higglers can't buy it, so the few little ones [that] can buy it will make a sale. When it plenty like this, you have a lot of sellers. They (the buyers) see too much so them nah pay no price for it. Sometime, what you buy it for, you see it cheaper. Weekend, I bought carrots for $50 per pound wholesale and when me look, the farmers come in the market and a sell it for $30 and $40 [per pound] so you can't survive," she told The Gleaner.
Neville Mullings, who farms in Elderslie, said he was not affected by the drought, but now the weather is not being as gracious to the farmers on that side of the parish which borders St James. As a result, he said he is unable to compete with the prices of the farmers who are experiencing the glut.
"Our crop now start coming a little slower, I don't see where we can [compete], they [can offer] better price than us.
"For the Christmas now, me no really have nothing [much to] sell. That ago mash up my Christmas because me no have no money," Mullings explained.