Large tomato supply affects trade in Zambia

After investing a lot of money and labour in producing a commodity, a farmer generally expects to reap his reward. This is not the case for Zambian tomato farmers, currently.



Tomatoes are going to waste daily, due to the low price, which has dropped to as low as K15 (€1.26) for a box, triggered by a large supply. On average, it costs over K30,000 (€2,520) to produce a hectare of tomatoes due to the many expenses which include the seedlings, pesticides, fumigation, fertilisers and labour.

But given the prevailing prices, it is impossible for farmers to break even. At Soweto Market in Lusaka it is a sorry sight as farmers see their tomatoes go to waste due to a lack of demand.

Early this year, a box of tomatoes was fetching between K300 and K420 (€25.20-35.30) and farmers produced more, anticipating that the prices would remain high. They didn’t realise all farmers were thinking alike, resulting in a drop in prices.



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