Drought cause of habanero pepper shortage and price spike

Cancun, Q.R. – The current price spike of habanero chile peppers has left many to either do without or substitute it for something more readily available.

In recent weeks, the habanero has set new record prices due to a vast shortage of the popular pepper.

Over the past few weeks, the entire country has noticed the short supply of one of its favorite and most utilized peppers. In the state of Quintana Roo, only 50 percent of the greenhouses are producing marketable habanero peppers,  explained Eulogio Chan Tuz, president of Vegetables Product System.

“The price of habanero chile peppers is very good. It is more than 110 pesos a kilo, but now we do not have the bulk of production we usually have because only 25 greenhouses of the 50 are producing. We hope that within the next few days the rest of the harvest will begin maturing and turn spicy,” he said.

According to the National System Market Information and Integration (SNIIM), since July, prices for the pepper soared to 120 peso per kilo and, due to the continual shortage, is current at 130 peso per kilo.

Chan Tuz says that the Maya greenhouses that produce vegetables such as the haberano, do so year round. But this year, the drought has delayed the harvest of the peppers. Producers are hoping the peppers mature and become spicy for selling by the middle or end of October.

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