Food Cost Increase a Concern

Concerns have been raised after there has been a drastic rise in the price of vegetables and root crops in Suva.

A market vendor in the greater Suva area is reported to be selling cassava for $15 a heap which is considered too expensive.

“The heap was the size for a normal $7 heap. I thought it would just cost $10 and I was shocked when they said it was $15 instead.” Mrs Olive Whippy said. “I usually come here because it’s near to my house here in Laucala Bay. Even the eggplant is $8 a plate, long bean is $10 and lemon is $5 for a small plate consisting of 6 to 7.”

Mrs Whippy said that with the cost of living today, these prices were too much for her.

Some other customers have also raised concerns.

“Maybe they decided to raise the prices after TC Mal. But it’s just too much. Consumer Council should do something about this,” Nancy Falani, a school teacher in Suva said.

A market vendor who asked to remain anonymous said the middleman prices were too high.

“Before we could buy 1 bag of cassava for $60. Now we have to buy it for $120. We only can make a few heaps from that one bag, so we are at the losing end.” she said. “And sometimes what we buy is of bad quality so that’s even worser,” she said.

In response to our queries, Consumer Council said the vegetable market operates under the principle of perfect competition, where prices are primarily by the forces of supply and demand.

“In the case highlighted by MaiTV the observed increase in prices for cassava and other vegetables may be attributed to various factors such as weather conditions affecting transportation costs and overall dynamics.” the statement said.

However, they also said that they were actively monitoring the situation.

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