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Fiji: High cassava prices

A visit to the Suva Municipal Market and the Bailey bridge market on Thursday confirmed this.

Manjula Wati has been selling vegetables at this market for the past 35 years with just one stall but today, she has six.

"This is the dalo season and recently, people have been looking for dalo because they would be making lovo and other dishes which would require dalo," she said.

Ms Wati said she usually bought dalo from the Suva market and on Thursday, she took delivery of the crop from her supplier. The dalo is being sold at $15 a bundle at Ms Wati's stall.

"Dalo is in supply but we are not getting any supply of cassava and even kumala. These two crops are really short in supply," she said.

The shortage in supply of root crops and other vegetables has resulted in the increase in prices of vegetables with the government sounding the warning that food prices were expected to increase even further.

This shortage of root crops has resulted in some exporters not being able to meet the demand.

At the Suva market you can find a heap of cassava sold at $10 instead of its $5 normal price.

Customer, Ioane Sione of Cunningham said, he was a bit shocked when he first saw the price of cassava.

"I asked the market vendor if he was serious and he said, there's not much cassava in the market, and I would be lucky to find any cassava less than $10.

Mr Sione said they would rather have rice and roti then buy five pieces of cassava for that amount.

The market vendor, however refused to be interviewed saying reporters should speak to the suppliers in this case the farmers.

Another market vendor Elizabeth Betty said she came from Valelevu market hoping the prices of cassava would be less at the Suva market.

"It's the same, I did not want to buy from Valelevu because it was $10, but when I came here this morning, the prices of cassava was the same," she explained.

Source: www.fijitimes.com

Publication date: 4/15/2016


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