Anishta Seesurrun is sounding the alarm. We must act now to help growers protect themselves against the effects of climate change, says the young woman who is involved in planting and selling vegetables. She also takes stock of current production.

What is the situation in terms of vegetable production?
As we enter the winter period, production will resume. There will be more vegetables on the market, especially stringy vegetables (Editor's note: chouchou, calabash, etc.). On the other hand, climate change will have to be taken into account. There is a disruption. The soil is less productive. We are also seeing the arrival of new viruses and bacteria which attack certain vegetables. This is the case with the candy apple and the chili pepper. We should therefore not expect the prices of these two products to drop significantly. Generally speaking, vegetable production will improve, but we should not expect a drastic drop in prices, for various reasons. The planters have new responsibilities. The prices of inputs (salt, fertilizer, etc.) have increased. Likewise, many farmers had to start from scratch after suffering losses during the rainy season. Which means they have to find new funds. This weighs on production costs. But above all there are the effects of climate change. You just have to look at what is currently happening in Dubai (Editor's note: the equivalent of two years of rain fell in 24 hours).

Vegetable prices are starting to fall. Will this trend continue?
Normally, prices tend to drop in winter. But today, nothing is certain due to climate change. The proof is that we have an anticyclone in our region, even though we are in April. Price developments will depend on the climate. Consumers will have to adapt to the fact that there will be no drastic price drops.

Some planters want the authorities to move forward with a master plan to help planters cope with the vagaries of climate change…
I completely agree ! However, it is not a five-year plan that we need, but an annual plan. We will have to act now, because today everything is changing. In addition to the hazards of climate change, we face certain international challenges. With the current crisis in the Middle East, there are supply problems looming. If the boats are delayed, we will be affected. For example, growers will not receive the fertilizers and pesticides that we import on time. Which will have an impact on local production.

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