(CMR) First Vice-President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), has warned that Jamaicans will continue to pay more for produce as a result of the recent rains, which have significantly impacted crop yields.
Alvaranga said holiday favourites like sorrel and gungo-peas have been impacted and are expected to cost consumers much more.
He explained that in the case of sorrel, the price is being driven by poor crop yields resulting from root-rot disease, while gungo-peas will come on to the market much later as a result of the recent rains.
Alvaranga explained that the recent rains are part of the reason why vegetables like lettuce are retailing for $800 JMD per pound (5 USD) and sweet peppers at about $400 JMD per pound (3 USD).
He went on to explain that the current situation highlights the need for greater land management.
Despite the current food shortages, Alvaranga said that he was happy that the country had at least reduced its food import bill by 20 percent and, was delighted to see the quick response of the new Agriculture Minister, Floyd Green, who he noted had pledged significant support for the industry.
Alvaranga notes that he and the minister have been in constant dialogue, with resources to be dispatched through the Rural Agriculture Development Agency (RADA).
While fruits and vegetables are in short supply, Minister Green notes that tubers like potatoes and yams as well as meat kind continue to do well.