Blight wipes out lemon crops as price – gougers reign
Santo Domingo.-While the citrus blight huanglongbing, also known as citrus greening, has wiped out lemon plantations and hobbled production across the country, its intermediaries also “gouge prices.”
One lemon costs as much as 20 pesos and with luck can be bought for 12.
But the surprising difference lies at the plantations’ prices, which producer Max Núñez affirms is RD$33.00 the pound, which has many as six lemons.
When the numbers are crunched, each lemon costs just over 5 pesos, but the consumer pays four times that.
Lemons are subjected to supply and demand but the country isn’t keeping pace.
Orange plantations have also been increasingly hit by the HLB vector (Diaphorina Citri), and just like lemons, is a cyclical crop, and are not in season now.
Lemons’ (especially limes) peak production is from May through July, but continues at a diminishing yield until the start of winter.
The Candidatus liberibacter bacteria, originated in Asia, causes Huanglongbing, attacking oranges, grapefruit and all other varieties of citrus.
Infection turns the leaves yellow and deforms and dries the fruits, and although the plant doesn’t die its yield is hobbled.
Category: DR News |