Written by 1:08 pm Food

Farmer forced to sell produce at cents per pound

With greater than 30 000 kilos of produce on her hands and no marketplace for it, a St Philip farmer is able to sell it off at mere cents per pound in a desperate try and do away with it before it spoils.

Tanisha Satrohan, a small farmer at River Plantation, told Barbados TODAY on Thursday she decided to cost her vegetables and fruit way below market value as she didn’t wish to find yourself having to dump them.

Satrohan said she had several kilos of sweet pepper and cucumber in addition to 15 000 kilos of pumpkin, 7 000 kilos of cantaloupe, and eight 000 kilos of butternut squash.

“I’m afraid that with all of this produce, greater than half will spoil or I can have to throw them away,” she said.

“I haven’t any contracts with supermarkets. People wish to beat down your prices once you done spend all of your money on inputs. So now I actually have to sell the produce at whatever price I can get.”

The farmer said she was willing to sell her vegetables and fruit for lower than a dollar per pound at her storage facility near her eight-acre plot of land.

Satrohan lamented that the dearth of a market, in addition to human and animal crop thieves were among the many challenges she and other farmers faced.

“I actually have bills to pay, children to support, and the thieves – the two-legged ones and the 4 legged rats – killing you. There isn’t a survival. Farmers getting nothing,” she lamented.

“The Minister of Agriculture said farmers are earning profits but we should not earning profits. We wouldn’t have a market to sell our food. Government is allowing food to be imported when local food can’t sell and also you telling farmers to extend production.”

Based on the last periodical price list published by the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation which was applicable as much as August 9, the common price for sweet pepper was $3.94 per pound. The typical price for cucumber was 80 cents per pound while the common cost of butternut squash per pound was $1.30. Garden pumpkin was sold at a median price of $1.57 while belly pumpkin went at $1.35 per pound. Cantaloupe cost around $1.56 per pound.

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