The Black market for Avocado pear is now booming in New Zealand. This has led to a new wave of criminal activities in the country as thieves now target the fruit.
Since January there have been close to 40 large-scale thefts from avocado orchards in the north island of New Zealand, with as many as 350 fruit stolen at a time, theguardian.com reported.
Like the tomato shortage that recently swept through Nigeria, the avocado shortage was also due to natural disaster. The shortage of tomatoes in Nigeria was blamed on a pest known as tomato leafminer or Tuta absoluta, a species of moth also known as South American tomato moth.
A combination of wet weather in New Zealand and bushfires in Western Australia have been blamed for the shortage, while there have even been accusations of growers manipulating the market, telegraph.co.uk reported.
Like tomatoes in Nigeria, which sold close to N200 for one, avocado prices have skyrocketed to an unprecedented high because of the shortage, selling for between NZ$4-7 each (N565-N990), resulting in a spate of avocado thefts.
There were no criminal activities linked to shortage of tomatoes in Nigeria. However, Nigerians were forced to look for alternatives to tomatoes in their cuisine.
According to New Zealand Avocado in 2015 an additional 96,000 New Zealand households began purchasing avocados, and local growers – largely geared towards the lucrative export market – have been unable to keep up with the surge in demand.