Produce plentiful, but vendors lose out 22 March 2012
The Plateau fruit and vegetable market in Praia is overflowing with produce, all of which is much less expensive than usual thanks to this year’s plentiful rains. Vendors are thankful, but as thermometers in the city begin to rise, they have nowhere to conserve it and have begun to incur losses.
All products – fruits and vegetables alike – are being sold in considerable quantities, and are much less expensive than usual at Praia’s central market. A kilogram of bell pepper, for example, has dropped from 300 to 100 escudos, while a kilogram of cabbage has gone down from 120/140 to 50/60 escudos. A Semana Online also verified the relatively low price of tomatoes (50 escudos per kilo), potatoes (80 escudos per kilo) and manioc (60 escudos per kilo) – a dream come true for consumers, who can now purchase fresh produce from the Santiago countryside at attractive prices.
Things are not quite as bright for vendors, however. In addition to complaining about the crisis, they say they are having trouble dealing with their excess produce at the end of the day. Lalá, Nilda Semedo and Celina are three examples of the frustration that has taken hold of vendors despite this year’s good harvest. “Sales are low, even though the market’s full and produce is varied. But our losses have been huge since we don’t have anywhere to store excess produce at the end of day,” laments Lalá.
“Tomatoes, cabbage, green peppers, bananas, lettuce, parsley and cilantro are among the products that rot the quickest,” explains Nilda, without specifying the amount of the losses she has incurred. “But they’re considerable,” adds Celina, who says that the only solution is to sell the produce at a much lower price, give away more to the needy and simply throw excess away until the new market in the Campo do Coco area is concluded.