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Tweeps react to the ‘unreasonably high’ prices of ginger and garlic

| Economic factors

Last week, Twitter users expressed their anger and concern over the recent raw ginger and garlic price hike. Some said they would rather die than buy ginger and garlic these days.

Radio personality Leah Jazz posted a picture of weighed ginger on her timeline, questioning the fact that it costs almost R500 a kilogram. Scrolling through the comments several users found ginger selling at prices of between R120 and R270 a kilogram.

Here’s what tweeps had to say:

@mandyjwatson suggested that she tries shopping around as prices differ at every retail store.

“It was R350/kg at Food Lovers yesterday and possibly less at Checkers. Not much better but still – shop around!”

@jparker2310 commented: “I heard on the radio that it’s out of season locally. There’s a shortage globally (cause of people trying to dose up on lemon and ginger) but they’re expecting the price to come down in the next two weeks.”

@l_keletso said she has resorted to using powder because she could not cope with the high prices.

In an interview on The Midday Report show on Cape Talk with Lester Kiewit, agricultural economist Dr Kobus Laubscher said Covid-19 and the increasing awareness of the health benefits of ginger and garlic should be blamed for the extreme spike in prices.

Laubscher suspects that prices will probably never again return to pre-pandemic levels.

“I feel it in my own purse because we are regular users of garlic and ginger, but I think the market was just not ready for what came our way.

 “The rediscovery of the healthiness of ginger and garlic as alternative medication, especially in terms of your immune system during the pandemic, is not a product you can increase supply overnight, but the market will respond.

“I don’t think prices will come down that much.

“I think it’s a new lifestyle item that carries a lot of weight. There will be a reaction from producers, but the price will never be as low as before,” he said.

Food Lover’s Market warned that prices of ginger were expected to increase further. It said that was due to an increase in demand and a shortage of supply.

“Ginger, which is a seasonal and labour-intensive crop, sees occasional supply constraints.

“With the advent of another second Covid-19 wave, we’ve seen the popularity of ginger increase as consumers seek to bolster their immune systems by including ginger in juices, soups, and extracts.

“These factors have, in turn, increased the price of the imported ginger at the fresh produce markets, which then has a direct effect on retail prices,” it said.


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