Families with no choice due to the high cost of plantains, cassava and bananas
Everything is expensive; there is no choice! This is the phrase that is repeated over and over again among buyers and even sellers. They refer to the price of plantain, banana, and cassava, products of significant consumption in the country, but that, due to their current price, have become unaffordable for families.
The banana still costs more than RD$30.00 in the markets, a price that almost doubles when bought in grocery stores or supermarkets.
The Minister of Agriculture, Limber Cruz, justified the food situation and acknowledged the high cost but said that it is due to the natural phenomena that have affected the producing areas in the last few days.
However, to this version, the market vendors add that the producers and resellers of bananas have taken advantage of the situation and have raised the price, so they have also had to increase, which has directly harmed Dominican families, who have seen how the salary they earn is more limited.
“We are buying bananas at RD$23.00 and RD$24.00 a unit, so we have to sell at RD$30.00 and more. It is costly,” said José Rodríguez, a Mercado Nuevo de Villas Agrícolas vendor.
Other merchants point out that plantains tend to go up this time of the year, which is typical for the year. Still, consumers say that this year they have no alternative because cassava and bananas are also expensive, despite the stability of inflation that the government boasts.
“Before one ate something else for a while. But you can’t buy guineo because they are at RD$8.00 and a pound of yucca costs up to RD$28.00. I don’t know what is going to happen to the poor here. The salary is not enough for anything,” said Ramon Pascual.
The government said that it had suspended the export of these products to maintain supply. However, this measure, so far, has not affected the cost.
Some buyers pleaded yesterday for the government to look for a mechanism that could help control speculation since they understand that, in addition, sellers are taking advantage of the situation.