The price of tomatoes in Zambia soared to K290 per box from a low of K120.
The Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) attributed the increase to scarcity of the crop as a result of diseases and high input costs.
“There is a low supply as most farmers suffered losses due to diseases that attacked fields during the dry spell. Aggravating the situation is that we now have heavy rains that have triggered more disease resulting into higher input costs,” said ZNFU Media and Relations Manager Calvin Kaleyi.
It was predicted the current prices of tomatoes of between K250 to K300 would remain high for the next 3 months.
Last year the local market suffered a major knock with prices dropping as low K80 per box. This result in a short-lived ban on importing tomatoes and other vegetables to protect the local market.
From mid-October last year, the retail price of tomatoes have been climbing steadily, and as soon as the rains hit there was a sharp jump in prices.