Members of the public continue to grumble about the price of plantain and checks by Stabroek News showed that the local staple is being vended at between $160 and $240 per pound depending on which of the two main city markets is patronized.
Stabroek News made checks at Stabroek Market and Bourda Market to compare the prices and determine the availability of plantains.
Plantain is readily available at Stabroek Market but one has to pay the price to acquire it. The price ranges from $160-$200 per pound. Vendors at the market stated that the plantains are being sold at different prices because of the sizes. “Fat one dem more dear than fine one”, one vendor stated.
Vendors at the Bourda Market complained that because of high prices their produce was left to spoil. With limited amounts of plantain and the added transportation cost the vendors at Bourda told Stabroek News that they are forced to sell their plantains between the prices of $180-$240 per pound and persons are not buying it.
In its weekly bulletin carried in the Stabroek Business of October 21, the New Guyana Marketing Corporation reported the price of plantains at the Parika farm gate to be $100 per pound while at Bourda it was retailing for $180 and at Stabroek Market it was retailing for $160 per pound.
Plantain production countrywide has been hit by the dreaded leaf spot disease Black Sigatoka. It has also hit other Caribbean countries which has led to increased imports from places like Guyana.
The Ministry of Agriculture said earlier this year that tests which were sent to the United Kingdom last year to determine the presence of the disease, have confirmed that it is present in local plantain and banana plants.
According to NAREI, areas around the country which are affected by the disease include parts of Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8,10 and to a lesser extent in isolated areas of Regions 5 and 6.