Mutengo wembambaira wodonha

Prices of sweet potatoes have dropped drastically due to oversupply, a development that is threatening the livelihoods of many farmers in Gokwe who depend on the crop for income.

It is good news to many who love the sweet potato, but not so for the majority of farmers in Gokwe who abandoned cotton which was their major source of income, opting to grow the sweet potatoes on a commercial scale.

The farmers are now in a quandary as for several months the prices of the sweet potatoes have remained low due to the oversupply of the tuber.

The glut has been attributed to good rains experienced in most parts of the country this season.

A market analysis shows that a 90kg bag of sweet potatoes dropped from US$25 to between $9 and $10 this year compared to previous seasons.

A 20-litre bucket now costs between US$2 and US$3 while in previous seasons it would fetch between $5 and $8.

The farmers say the development is seriously threatening their livelihoods as they are now struggling to make ends meet.

For years now the majority of farmers in Gokwe have abandoned growing cotton which was their major source of livelihood opting to grow the sweet potato on a commercial scale.

The good prices that the crop fetched on the market had brought relief to the farmers.

The tide has, however, changed prompting the farmers to rethink their priorities.

ZBC

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