Friday, February 23, 2018

Avocado shortage: price reaches $50


pricey pear: A vendor at Palmiste, San Fernando, displays one of his avocados which were being sold at $50 each on Thursday. —Photo: DAVE PERSAD

(BI) Feedloader User

A shortage of avocado pears across the country has sent the price out of reach of many.

One vendor, working at the entrance of the Palmiste area near San Fernando, said although the fruit wasn't usually that expensive, this year he was forced to sell his avocados for between $20 and $50.

"I buy everything that I sell and because we had such a bad dry season this year many of the avocado trees did not bear so I have to buy avocado wherever I get and right now I am paying $20 for one."

He said because of the price he had to pay he could only afford to buy about 50 at any given time.

But people are buying.

"I might not be able to sell 100 but I sell between 20 and 25 avocados a day, even at such a high price," he said.

Norace Deonarine, education and research officer with the National Food Crop Farmers Association, said the country continues to experience high food prices every year "because there is nothing in place to prevent this from reoccurring".

He said: "This year we had an early drought and it affected the level of avocado production and so, yes, there is a shortage. I have seen people selling avocados for $10 and $15 for one. This is why we are calling for a national comprehensive plan for agriculture so that we will not have to have these same conversations continuously.

"The government has to play that role in setting up the environment to keep food prices stable. It is time that we put our house in order," he said.