During the first week of October, 2022, the Extension and Advisory Services Division through its technical staff, Agricultural Officer, Mr. Donawa Jackson and his technical team conducted a vegetable damage assessment survey in Agricultural Region Two.
The main objective of the survey was to determine the impact of excessive rainfall in September on farmers’ vegetable cultivation. According to an official release the findings from the survey indicated that some of the impacts are as follows:
- Increased incidence of pests and diseases which resulted in 80% to 100% losses of carrots, cucumbers, watermelons and peanuts, and between 50% to 70% losses of tomato, cabbages and sweet peppers respectively;
- High incidences of blossoms drop which was reflected in low fruit sets;
- and Poor growth and development of fruits and root vegetables due to excessive nutrients leaching and reduced sunlight.
According to the release from the Ministry of Agriculture, farmers reported monetary losses ranging from $1000 to $10,000.
In conclusion, the division concluded that over the coming months that there will be a shortage of carrots, cucumbers, watermelons, pumpkins, sweet peppers, tomato and peanuts from the region which will have an impact on national supply.
They stated that if the rainfall does not reduce significantly for October, then supply will decrease over the coming months. Consequently, demand will increase and prices will go up. Thus, in an effort to stabilize prices, imports will increase to meet local demand.