While the vegetable prices are rising steadily, fruits are cheaper by 12 per cent compared to 2018, according to the Statistics Office of the Republic of Serbia.
The prices of most types of vegetables, compared to the same period last year, rose by between 20 and 30 per cent, while the prices of some agricultural produce have doubled, writes the Politika daily.
For instance, a year ago, potatoes cost 35 dinars per kilo, while today they sell for 60 dinars at Kvantas outdoor market in Belgrade. Last year, cucumbers were sold for 110 dinars a kilo, today their price goes as much as 160 dinars.
Leek is the record-breaker when it comes to price – last year, it was sold for 55 dinars, while this year, for an incredible 160 dinars.
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It is interesting to note that the prices of vegetables that are most frequently consumed at this time of the year (onions, lettuce, radishes) are almost the same as in the spring of 2018.
Prices in the largest outdoor market in Belgrade are corroborated by the data compiled by the State Statistics Office, which paint a better picture of the trends in consumer prices. According to the latest statistics, for February 2019, vegetables in Serbia were 33.7 per cent more expensive than in the same period of 2018. At the same time, fruit prices decreased by 12 per cent.
What exactly caused such a rise in market prices, which surprised even the market researchers? Experts point out that the price of seed could not have any effect on the increase in vegetable prices. Looking at the amount of seed used, it can be concluded that domestic vegetable production is declining and this can be part of the reason for price growth.
Also, it has become increasingly difficult to find producers who are willing to produce seed.
Lack of workforce is another problem that has impacted the vegetable prices. A significant number of farmers, particularly in Vojvodina and Central Serbia, have problems finding workers.
Although all of this could eventually lead to even higher vegetable prices, the experts also blame the import lobby that dictates high prices, as well as the fact that significant quantities of agricultural produce are exported while the demand remained at the same level.
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