The ‘e-Kofini’ pricewatch for fruits and vegetables is easily accessible even to people who are not so tech savvy, Agriculture Minister Maria Panayiotou said on Tuesday.

She was speaking on CyBC television days after the ministry launched the platform that lists the prices of a number of vegetable and fruit products.

Panayiotou said that people can search for the e-Kofini app on Viber, install it and then join the community to get biweekly alerts on the prices.

Alternatively, people can visit the dedicated website and scan the QR code, which automatically lets one join the community.

Persons requiring assistance with using the platform can call the agriculture ministry at 22464081.

The average prices of goods will be published every Monday and Thursday.

There are two columns – one for the average sales price by farmers organisations, the other for the average sales price at retail points.

For the first column, the agriculture ministry gathers data from selected farmers and producers organisations; for the second, the prices cited are from major supermarkets operating nation-wide.

According to the ministry, the point of the exercise is to provide transparency so as to “close the gap” between producer prices and retail prices. In addition, it keeps consumers updated and what to expect when they go shopping.

The products monitored by the online platform include vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, peppers, beans, and peas, as well as fruits like bananas, watermelons, melons, and strawberries.

The first pricewatch posted on the website (for Thursday, May 2) shows a substantial deviation between producer and retail prices.

For example, cucumbers went for an average of €0.67 per kg on the producers/farmers side, and €1.45 on the retail side.

Cauliflower sold for an average €0.45 per kg on the producers side, and €1.06 per kg on the retail side. The respective prices for black-eyed peas were €6.07 and €7.70, and for potatoes €0.55 and €0.89.

For watermelons the respective prices for producers and retailers were €0.87 and €1.69, and for strawberries they were €4.12 and €6.02.