Ahead of Easter celebration, prices of some food items like tomatoes, chili pepper, and onions have increased by over 100 per cent in Lagos markets, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
A survey by NAN on Thursday at Mile 12, Ile-Epo and Oyingbo markets revealed that a 40kg basket of tomatoes which hitherto sold for N4, 500 in February now goes for N9, 500.
A 50kg basket of chili pepper increased from N4, 500 to N8, 000 and a basket of tatashe rose from N4, 000 to N8, 000.
A jute bag of onions which previously sold for N13, 000 now costs N14, 000, a 100kg bag of beans costs N30, 500 while a 50kg bag of rice ranges between N13, 000 to N18, 500, depending on the brand.
A kilo of frozen turkey goes for N1, 350.00, frozen chicken cost N1, 200 while a paint measure of garri still maintains its price at N350.
Traders at the markets attributed the price increases to seasonal factors, increase in transportation costs and the lingering security challenges in the North-east geo-political zone.
Alhaji Hamzat Abudulkarim, a pepper trader at Ile-Epo market, said that the quantity of the produce had reduced due to seasonal factors.
“Tomato is almost out of season and its price and that of pepper has increased from markets in Kano, Sokoto, Zaria, where we buy them from,” he said.
Femi Odusanya, spokesperson for Mile 12 Perishable Food Traders Association, said that there was need for the three levels of government to increase investment in mechanised farming, toward boosting food production.
“Eighty per cent of the food sold in markets across the country are planted by subsistence farmers and this is not sustainable because of our large population.
“Concerns about the high cost of food would be over in the country only if state government’s key into cultivating produce that can grow in their areas, to increase the volume of food produced,” Odusanya said.
He, therefore, urged the federal government to increase investment in irrigation schemes across the country, to enhance dry season cultivation.