Prolonged drought affecting farmers, produce sellers

Prolonged drought affecting farmers, produce sellers

Observer staff reporter

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!

Jamaica did not experience the normal “May rains” this year, and is currently going through a period of drought which is affecting everyone, especially those who farm or sell in markets for a living.

Some vendors and farmers in the Coronation Market in downtown Kingston shared with the Jamica Observer just how the dry season has been affecting them.

Errol Bailey: “Mi buy my goods from country and the prices go up and sometimes it will come down. Sometimes it go up by $30 or $50 more. Some people can manage and then some can't manage. When the rain fall, we have it much better.”

Deta Harrison: “Because of the drought, the price for things go up. Worm take up the pumpkin and sweet potatoes and we cyaa get any produce. Carrot get expensive, sweet pepper too. Everything. No water nuh deh. Me buy from a farmer in St Mary and the prices raise up pon me by $30 and more. That cause me fi hike up di prices also and the people them a bawl seh them nuh have any money.”

Angela Jarrett: “Mi a sell from my 'eye deh a mi knee', bout 10 or 11. The farmer dem raise the prices nuff, like all $80 and $100. Last week sweet pepper was for $50 and this morning it was for $150. Who usually buy three pounds will buy maybe two and who use to buy a pound afi buy half pound now. Mi daughter pass for Cedar Grove Academy, so you kno me afi go find the school money outa di goods them weh mi sell and it na go so good right now.”

Whitmore Spencer: “Me buy my yam from Trelawny. The price for the yam raise yes, and people a buy less now. Things a sell slow now inna di market.”

Hugh Brown: “All a me dasheen leaves them burn up. Me have 600 suckers and bout 100 burn up inna the drought, so me end up a lose.”

Desmond Kennedy: “Mi sell all sorts of ground produce. The people who I buy from raise the prices by like $30 and $40. People nah buy as much, dem seh them na no money fi buy when it so expensive. We a work fi a $10 or $20 profit right now and sometimes you not even a get it. It bad man.”

'Bobo Kush': “The drought affect me nuff, nuff. Mi plants, like the banana dem, nah get no water. Earth dry, earth a crack. The leaves on the trees dry up and me can't plant nothing ina sun. A water run things”

Balvin Morgan: “Mi a sell for over 25 years and I farm also. Mi sell yam, pumpkin, sweet potato, cocoa, irish potato, corn, etc. The last set of irish weh me plant nuh bear during the drought. Is a big loss that to me.”

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus

If there were no government COVID restrictions, and people were able to decide for themselves about how to manage their risk, how soon would you return to your normal activities?
Right now
After new cases decline
After no new cases
After vaccine developed
I've already returned to my normal routine


Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon