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Heat Causes Hike in Produce Prices Ahead of Holidays

September 3, 2010
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“This year, even in the winter there were heat waves that caused the blooms to fall off, and fruits and vegetables were not created.” The fruits to suffer the most from the heat are summer fruits such as grapes, plums and apricots, and sensitive vegetables such as cucumbers and peppers. Tomatoes are also being affected by the heat.

In addition to a temporary shortage in certain fruits and vegetables, the damages from the heat are also impacting our pockets. The price of fruits and vegetables has risen significantly compared with the same period last year.

Meir Yifrah, secretary of the Vegetable Growers Association, on Sunday went so far as to warn of a serious shortage in vegetables during the upcoming holiday period. “The ongoing heat caused a significant drop of some 70% in vegetable yield,” he said. “Unfortunately, this holiday there will be a shortage in vegetables, and I estimate the shortage will end only in two–three weeks.” But the vegetables are not alone, the farmers' association also reported of a 25% drop in the yield of fruits, which has led to a rise in prices, but not to a shortage in markets.

The Agriculture Ministry was quick to send a calming message, saying that the heat is indeed affecting the crops, but only for a period of a few days, and the fruit and vegetable markets are expected to make a quick recovery.

The Shufersal chain said the shortage is temporary. “Due to the desire to provide high quality fruits and vegetables, quite a few goods are disqualified due to the heat, causing an occasional shortage in the evening hours.”

Posted on September 3, 2010

Source: (By Yehudit Yahav, Oshrat Nagar-Levit contributed, September 2, 2010)

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