Published On: Fri, Sep 5th, 2014

First signs of trouble: Shortage of tomatoes by Venezuelan export prohibition

Floating marketWILLEMSTAD - The Curaçao consumer started to feel the Venezuelan export prohibition of 21 products at first hand. For example, the Venezuelan boats, which dock on the popular floating market, did not bring tomatoes because of the ban.

Besides tomatoes, there is currently a shortage of other fruit and vegetables in Curaçao. There is currently a shortage of yucca, paprika, pepper, cucumber and sweet potato. But according to Antonio Pita, who transports fruits and vegetables for the Mangusa Supermarket chain, the scarcity of these products has nothing to do with Venezuela.

“The Department of Economic Affairs of Curaçao has an import ban on these products. Which is intended to protect the local products, but in reality it appears that there is simply not enough local produce to meet the demands of the local consumers,” Pita said. In addition to tomatoes, there is also a ban on the import of fresh fish.

This is intended to protect the local market, but there is simply not enough to meet the demands.

Fruit and vegetables can also be imported from other countries such as the Dominican Republic, Colombia or the United States. As a result, the island will be less dependent on the situation in Venezuela, but the downside is that it will increase the transport costs, which in turn will increase the retail price.

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