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Vegetable prices expected to stabilise — Agriculture Ministry

By Laila Azzeh - Dec 14,2015 - Last updated at Dec 14,2015

A recent frost spell has reduced the amount of tomatoes that enter the local market daily from 300-350 tonnes during this time of the year to 100-110 tonnes

AMMAN — Prices of vegetables are expected to “stabilise” by the end of December after going up due to weather conditions, an official said on Monday.

The heatwaves that affected the Kingdom during the summer prompted farmers to postpone planting their crops for a while, which resulted in a delay in production, according to Agriculture Ministry Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin.

“Therefore, the main agricultural region in Jordan, Ghor Al Safi, is yet to introduce its crops to the market. The harvesting of vegetable crops in the Jordan Valley will start by the end of this month and this will stabilise prices,” Haddadin told The Jordan Times.

He explained last week’s “early” frost spell and the “unprecedented” hot weather during the summer have had a major impact on the market supply of vegetables, resulting in the hike in their prices.

“The weather affected crops’ growth and quality,” Haddadin noted.

Following the recent frost spell, crops planted on thousands of dunums in the Jordan Valley were damaged.

The frost formation, caused by a cold and dry air mass, brought temperatures down to a low of -5ºC in the usually warm Jordan Valley, with  potatoes, zucchinis and eggplants hardest hit by the freezing temperatures, according to the Jordan Valley Farmers Union (JVFU).

In recent remarks to The Jordan Times, JVFU President Adnan Khaddam said 3,000 dunums of potato and zucchini crops in the northern Jordan Valley were completely damaged due to frost, while 40-60 per cent of both crops were affected in the central parts of the Ghor. In addition, 35 per cent of the eggplant crop was damaged and 10 per cent of tomatoes grown upside down were also hit by frost, Khaddam added.

The freezing temperatures not only damaged crops, he said, but also reduced their productivity. 

 

Noting that 300-350 tonnes of tomatoes enter the local market daily during this time of the year, Khaddam said the amount dropped to 100-110 tonnes per day due to the freezing temperatures.

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