Rumbidzai Mhlanga, Farming Reporter
PRICES of horticultural produce have gone up owing to an increase in the cost of inputs.
A survey carried out by Sunday News Business at Bulawayo’s vegetable markets revealed that prices of most vegetables had gone up with most traders citing that farmers had increased the cost of the produce delivered to them.
A pocket of 10 kilogrammes of potatoes rose from an average $11 to about $17, a crate of tomatoes, which was $6 is now $7, a pocket of butternuts went up from $6 to $7 and a head of cabbage is now selling at $2.50 from $1.
Matabeleland North Department of Crop and Livestock provincial officer Mr Dumisani Nyoni said most of the times the price of vegetables is determined by the law of supply and demand.
“Prices of produce are mainly determined by the law of supply and demand and this might be one of the reasons that prices of horticultural produce at the vegetable markets might have gone up,” he said.
Mr Nyoni also said the general increase in prices of commodities in the country impacted on the pricing of horticultural produce by farmers after factoring in the costs of inputs.
“There is generally an increase in the prices of goods and this has also seen an increase in the prices of farming inputs such as seed and pesticides thus these expenses are passed onto the produce,” he said.
Umguza Irrigation Lots chairperson Mr Antony Kepe Dube confirmed that prices of horticultural produce had gone up owing to an increase of inputs.
“The prices of pesticides and fertilisers have gone up from about $35 to $90 and this is one of the reasons there has been a rise in the price of horticultural produce. The prices have trebled in some instances and this is sole due to the increase in the price of inputs, which has an impact on production,” he said.