Heavy rain impacts tomato price

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GK CRONJE

20 April 2021

We've already seen a slight improvement and as the weeks go on, probably in the next two to three weeks, the situation should return to normal.

Suzuki Ermelo (WEB) 22 September 2020.jp

ZZ2, the country's biggest supplier of tomatoes' marketing manager, Clive Garrett, has stated that heavy rainfall experienced in the country recently has caused a drop in the supply of tomatoes, a much-loved South African staple. “In dry conditions, tomatoes flourish as long as you have enough water or water rivers or dams but when you have excessive rains like we've had in January and February, generally tomatoes don't thrive. We've already seen a slight improvement and as the weeks go on, probably in the next two to three weeks, the situation should return to normal. In January and February we had more rain in those two months than we generally have in a year,” he said.

Garrett added that when there is heavy rain, it brings on infestations of insects and damage to the plants and the fruit from the rain. All salad-type vegetables have been hit hard, as there have also been reports of a shortage of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and potatoes due to the excessive rain. “Our prices in South Africa are determined by demand and supply. Still, the majority of our products happen to land up on the national fresh produce market. I think the supermarkets take their leads from what happens on the national fresh produce market. It happens all over the world when there is a shortage of goods the price goes up,” Garret concluded.