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Investigate price gouging- Senator Grant

Published:Monday | August 3, 2015 | 12:00 AM

MAY PEN, Clarendon:

President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) Senator Norman Grant has urged the Consumer Affairs Commission to investigate allegations of price gouging on the local markets.

Grant said, because of the current drought conditions being faced by the country, some retailers have doubled, and in some cases, tripled the price of produce for resale after they purchase from farmers.

"I am in support of the call to ask the Consumer Affairs Commission to step up their investigation and survey as it relates to the price of agricultural produce. A lot of times, those who buy from the farmers double their markup and sometimes the farmers get the blame for it. Therefore, we ask that they step up their investigation," Senator Grant said.


Fair request

He noted that farmers are not being unfair when they ask for a better price when there are lower quantities of produce available, stating that it is a clear market condition which influences prices in terms of economics in response to demand and supply.

The senator made the comments during the 63rd anniversary of the Denbigh Agricultural Industrial and Food Show as he officially declared the event opened last Friday.

Based on the quality of the displays, creativity and enthusiasm across the 52-acre property on the opening day, Senator Grant said, "This could very well be one of the best first-day agricultural shows that Denbigh has had in many years. There are close to 250 exhibitors, which makes it the largest number of exhibitors over the 63 years."

"Agriculture is moving forward and is driving growth and development for Jamaica, and if we are to be economically independent, it's the agriculture sector that will lead the process" he stated.

This year's Denbigh Show was one in a series of celebratory events on the JAS calendar as it celebrated its 120th year of existence. "We celebrated the first day of the 63rd anniversary of the largest and most dynamic agricultural, industrial and food show in the English-speaking Caribbean. I say it's one of the largest agricultural events in the world. It is exciting that we're doing so this year as, this year, the JAS celebrates 120 years of existence," Senator Grant added.

The first day was dubbed: Youth in Agriculture Day, being celebrated under the theme: 'Sustainable Agriculture, Our Pathway to National Development'.