Heavy rains bring plenty pumpkins

A change in the weather pattern over the past few months has resulted in a surplus of pumpkins and a reduction in the yield of tomatoes.

Chief executive officer of the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS), James Paul, said while pumpkin prices were falling, customers should expect to pay more for tomatoes.

Paul was speaking during a media briefing today.

James Paul, CEO of the BAS
James Paul, CEO of the BAS

“This year we did extremely well with the planting of pumpkins. The acreage was much higher then it was last year and what we are seeing now is that there is a huge amount of pumpkins on the market. What I would also like to do is encourage persons not to import any pumpkins at this time, because with the large amount of pumpkins in the market, the prices are actually extremely low and farmers would like to get them off as quickly as they can. Farmers are concerned about losing money and spoilage,” he said.

Paul reported that owing to the recent heavy rains, lettuce and watermelons had been impacted negatively, with some farmers reporting water damage to their watermelons.

“In respect of the other crops, crops such as tomatoes have been affected by the heavy rains because it would knock the blossoms off the leaves . . . . But we think if we can get good weather going into December, consumers should not have a problem,” the BAS official said.

“We can anticipate an increase in prices in some cases because, with the fact that the fields will be muddy, post-harvest expenses are going to increase.”

James said the BAS had been monitoring the situation weekly and he was hoping that with good drainage and an improvement in the weather the situation would improve.

He said famers were being “consistent” with other products, including carrots and sweet potatoes, adding that there should be enough poultry and pork for the Christmas season, as more farmers, including people who became unemployed this year, had turned to raising those animals. James gave the assurance that the quality remained high.

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