Bulawayo, the second largest city in Zimbabwe, is experiencing a shortage of vegetables due to water shortage. This has pushed prices up while removing vegetables from menus of most homes and restaurants. Vendors and supermarket shelves for weeks have seen the price of cabbages go up. A head of cabbage now costs between $18 and 25 (€0.045-0.063).
A survey carried out around the city yesterday revealed that vegetables are in short supply and demand is very high. Busisa Moyo, a vegetable vendor at the market along the city’s 5th Avenue, said it is not normal for vegetables to be in short supply during this time of the year as demand is usually low.
"It's quite weird because we should be having low demand for vegetables during this period but it is different. There are no rains and as a result vegetables are in short supply. The little vegetables available on the market are very expensive owing to high demand," he said.
Another vendor, who also operates at the market, Mr Artwell Sibanda said business was low because of the high price of vegetables from suppliers: "We buy a bundle of vegetables from our suppliers for S65 and we re-package them into smaller bundles that we sell for $15 but still our profit is very minimal because we get $7 profit per bundle. It was going to be good had it been that we are pushing large volumes but we are only getting little from our supplies.”
A cashier at a major retail outlet who preferred anonymity said they last received green vegetables last month and were not expecting any deliveries in the near future. "We no longer have any deliveries of green vegetables and we are not likely to have any soon because it has been long since our last supply", she said.