The Ministry of Agriculture will this week check municipal markets around the country to ensure the price of fresh produce is reasonable.
Following concerns of price gouging raised nationwide, Agriculture Minister Dr. Mahendra Reddy has asked those who buy fresh produce from farmers to sell at the market to consider the impact of COVID19 on households.
Dr. Reddy has called on the “supply chain”, commonly known as middlemen to “refrain from unnecessarily marking up prices of basic food items such as crops and vegetables.”
“We are living in extraordinary times and these are trying times for all of us, to say the least, I am urging all who are in the supply and value chain to be considerate of their fellow Fijian during this time.”
“We reiterate our commitment to ensuring access to acceptable food of nutritional value for all Fijians but we cannot do this alone, we need the support of our stakeholders, in particular our producers, our middlemen and vendors to be on the same page.”
Dr Mahendra Reddy said Government did not regulate the prices of vegetable produce on the understanding the market would consider the impact of high prices.
Meanwhile Dr. Reddy’s statement said Ministry of Agriculture officials out collating information will also negotiate if they witness price hiking.
“We have no control over the prices that are being charged to consumers but we can only appeal to our vendors to maintain an equitable reasonable price on their products whilst marketing and selling them,” he said.