Weeks of stormy and wet weather in various agro-producing regions of the Kingdom has affected the yield from farms, which are already suffering due to a shortage of labor. This has resulted in vegetable prices increasing by up to 40%.
Floods in neighboring Jordan, a major exporter of vegetables to the Kingdom, also had an impact on supplies.
Jeddah’s central vegetable market, which is the largest wholesale market in the Kingdom, is witnessing a drop in supplies, pushing up the prices of green leaves.
Vegetable harvesting was hampered because of mud-soaked paddocks after the recent downpour.
According to traders, crops are not coming in due to stagnant water in farms and there is an acute shortage of expatriate labor in the farms, impacting the yield and as well as supplies.
Madinah, Qassim, Riyadh, Asir, Baha, Jouf and some parts of Makkah region have received heavy rain in recent days, causing damage to crops, especially vegetables.
The crops lying in the waterlogged fields are likely to rot.
“The shortage is only temporary; it will be over in next few days,” said Mohammed Jafer, a Riyadh-based employee handling vegetable supplies to major cities.
He said with sufficient rain, fresh and quality vegetable produce is expected to hit the shelves soon.
Many farms in the countryside that were dominated by expatriate laborers have been closed now. The farms used to employ a significant number of illegal expats for work starting from irrigation to filling the baskets with crops.
Intensified inspection campaigns by security authorities as part of weeding out illegals from the country resulted in the arrests of many of them, and this led many of the farms to close down.
Source Credit: Saudi Gazette