Farmers, traders stuck with tomatoes as DRC market shut due to elections


Tomato farmers and traders who heavily depend on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are reportedly stranded with the crop at Kitwe’s Nakadoli Market.

The elections taking place in that country meant temporarily closing trade with its neighbours as they await the outcome of elections.

Most tomato traders and farmers bank on Congolese buyers who offered them value for their tomatoes which they sale in bulk but the inactivity at border points like Kasumbalesa meant depending on local market.

In turn, the commodity is selling as low as K40 per box of tomatoes from the recent K100.

Read more : DRC Elections: Diaspora votes show lead for President Tshisekedi, as observers note local irregularities

“We are stuck with tomatoes because we did not anticipate that the Congolese buyers will not come to buy because of the uncertainty over election outcome, our tomatoes are rotting because of the rains, so we are giving out the crop on giveaway price to clear the stock and avoid more losses,” Justine Kunda, a trader said in an interview on Monday.

And Patrick Chashi, a tomato farmer said he had no other choices but to reduce the price before tomatoes started rotting and lose out completely.

“We have no options available apart from reducing the price of tomatoes, because if it takes long, they will go to waste. In DRC during elections, Congolese are always skeptical moving around during elections, that country is volatile, you never know, ” Chashi said.

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