Market vendors are the ones driving up food prices, say farmers

Some young farmers are blaming market vendors for driving up food prices, after buying produce from them cheaply at farm gate prices and then escalating the prices out of the reach of the public.

According to the farmers, sometimes the vendors even rip-off the farmers by forcing them to sell their goods way below the value and then going off to sell the items at up to three times what they initially paid.

“Farmers need to stop make some of those market vendors buy your produce for little n nothing under style and guh sell it for good price. When done a we inhale the chemicals for months n the stress of the crop for it to be successful,” Ocho Rios-based farmer, complained recently.

According to the farmer, the situation has left him so bitter, that he is thinking of creating a farmers market app to circumvent the dishonest vendors.   This app, he said would enable farmers to sell their produce as buyers would “filter by parishes and communities to find nearest farmer to them as well as the correct prices for items.

“Mi all see them a come round a buy plantain, 40 dollars a finger, banana 50 dollars a hand and when done them a sell the plantain for over a bills a finger and a sell banana 150 by the dozen.   When done sometimes 2 to 3 dozen on a hand a banana when dem buy it for 50 dollars,” he said.

“If something a sell for 100 dollars a market, them want to buy it for 50 or less.   Chemicals are so expensive, more times to finance 1 drum for a acre it cost mi up to 10g or more sometimes and it’s on a weekly basic or sometimes 2 weeks to maintain a crop expensive overall,” the farmer added.

His declaration about the farmers market app was fully supported by one of his female colleagues from Manchester.

“That way people will get for at a cheaper cost and you will be sure that people who want to afford it can afford it. Food shouldn’t be expensive. I hate to see them selling things so expensive and they know that they shouldn’t,” she said.

One plantain farmer argued that the vendors acted unconscientiously, and said many of his colleagues  only complied with the onerous deals, as sometimes they could not do better.

“This is so true these market venders have no conscience.  They just sit down make 3 times more than the farmers within 2 to 3 days and we as farmers of to work so hard for 3 to 4 month or more some time but some time we just can’t do better because we have no choice it’s not nice,” he said.

Another female farmer said many of the vendors when purchasing from the farmers, try to get the farmers to sell as cheaply as possible by even going as far as to complain that the goods are in low demand.

“Yea that’s when you know how things sell and then them come a tell you say nothing not selling, or it cheap.  I have been there before and been robbed by higgler so I know what farmer are going through,” she said.

Feeding Programme - Le Antonio's Foundation
Feeding Programme – Le Antonio’s Foundation

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