QCOSTARICA – This report may seem odd to some, but not for those who the grocery shopping, who noted the sharp increase in prices of tomato at the supermarket and farmer’s fairs across the country.
Tomato prices skyrocketed in December and the first weeks of January, as a consequence of the impact of the hurricanes on production and due to seasonal behavior.
Data obtained from the price reports of the National Production Council (CNP) indicate that the suggested price for the consumer in the farmer’s fairs increased by 84.5%, between November 29, 2020, and January 10, 2021.
In that period, the suggested price per kilo at the fairs went from ¢1,084 at the end of November to ¢2,000 on January 10, dropping a few colones to ¢1,778 per kilo a week later.
The situation is reflected, first, in the wholesale prices of the National Center for Food Supply and Distribution (Cenada), whose daily price bulletins indicate that the price of tomato increased 107% when comparing November 2 with December 28.
Arlyne Alfaro, coordinator of the Market Information System (SIM) of the CNP, said that given the increase in prices they consulted producers, who attributed the phenomenon to weather problems.
Impact of the rains
Édgar Delgado, tomato producer and president of the Santa Ana Cantonal Agricultural Center (Cacsa), explained that the entire phenomenon is due to the impact of hurricanes, especially by Iota.
Tomato plantations endured two storms (Eta and Iota) in a row caused by these climatic phenomena and productivity was strongly reduced, he added.
He explained that the national average of production of a tomato plant in one harvest is six kilos. As a consequence of the impact of humidity, that average dropped to one or two kilos per plant.
In this way, the availability or supply of the product was strongly reduced, with the consequent impact on prices, he assured.
According to Delgado, in the summer tomato production accelerates, which is why it is to be expected that in the coming months there will be a drop in the price and the tomato will drop to its lowest prices.