According to EastFruit experts from Tajikistan, there has been abnormally hot weather in the country for a long time creating important problems for fruit and vegetable growers. The air temperature in the shade has often exceeded 45 degrees Celsius for more than a week, even in the northern regions of Tajikistan. Last week, the air temperature was also above 40 degrees, and now it has become extreme.
All agricultural producers feel the consequences of such hot weather. Vegetable and fruit growers talk about sunburn on fruits, a sharp deterioration in product quality, no growth, and even complete loss of crops, despite their best efforts.
“Even tomatoes that “love” hot weather literally dry up in the fields. Therefore, their supply has dropped sharply over the past week, and prices have doubled. Now you can’t buy tomatoes cheaper than 5 TJS ($0.49/kg), and for large and high-quality tomatoes, sellers ask for 7 TJS/kg ($0.68) in bulk. A week earlier, the price for tomatoes was 3 TJS/kg ($0.29),” says Bakhtiyor Abduvokhidov, international consultant to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
He also notes that, as a rule, tomato prices in Tajikistan reach their minimum during this period of the year, and the season of preservation of vegetables for winter begins. Many urban residents buy large volumes of tomatoes at low prices in wholesale and retail markets at this time. Although jars and lids for them are sold very actively, not everyone can buy raw materials at such prices. Given the irrevocable losses of farmers in the fields, cheap tomatoes may not be available this season. This means that consumers will have to purchase more expensive food, and their spending on food can increase significantly in the winter.
EastFruit experts have repeatedly noted that climate change leads to serious negative consequences for farmers around the world. As for the countries of Central Asia, growing vegetables in the open field is becoming an increasingly risky business. Therefore, producers should pay attention to various options, such as greenhouses or film tunnels. For certain market segments, even vertical farms can gradually become more and more relevant.