Bad winter means pricier tomatoes, potatoes, hard times for workers

THE price of tomatoes and potatoes, which have already doubled this winter, could rise further in the coming months due to the impact of severe weather on crops, farmers’ union TAU SA said yesterday.

Limpopo had already experienced two cold fronts which caused a 100% income loss on tomatoes and a 50% income loss on potatoes, the union’s northern chairman Jan Viljoen said.

Other crops affected were bananas, with a 30% income loss, and pumpkins with a 50% loss. “Consumers can expect poor quality crops this season.”

Farm labourers could also be negatively affected as owners battled to pay them after the losses. Many farmers use season labourers.

Provincial Agriculture Department spokesman Kenny Mathivha said officials would be sent to farms across the province to assess the impact of losses and see what assistance could be given. – Sapa