The Ministry of Agriculture is urging all who are in the market supply chain to consider the impact of COVID-19 on all Fijian households and to refrain from unnecessarily marking up prices of basic food items such as crops and vegetables.

During this COVID-19
lockdown period within the country’s two major cities, Minister for
Agriculture, Hon. Dr Mahendra Reddy has urged producers, middlemen, and vendors
to sell their items at a reasonable price to ensure a mutually beneficial trade
effect within the supply chain and also for the consumers.

He stressed that the
Ministry of Agriculture would continue to deploy its officers to local
municipal markets and satellite markets to collate information on market prices
and to negotiate should there be unnecessary price hiking.

“We are living in
extraordinary times and these are trying times for all of us, to say the least,
I am urging all who are in the supply and value chain to be considerate of
their fellow Fijian during this time.

“We reiterate our
commitment to ensuring access to acceptable food of nutritional value for all
Fijians but we cannot do this alone, we need the support of our stakeholders,
in particular our producers, our middlemen and vendors to be on the same page,”
said Hon. Reddy.

Minister Reddy
elaborated that seeing as Government did not regulate vegetable and crop prices
in the market, the onus remained within the supply chain to consider the
ramifications of marking up prices on their respective businesses.

“We have no control
over the prices that are being charged to consumers but we can only appeal to
our vendors to maintain an equitable reasonable price on their products whilst
marketing and selling them,” he said.

The Ministry of
Agriculture is continuing to work with all in the supply chain to ensure the
continued supply of fresh produce to all municipal markets within the lockdown
areas.

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