By Kunle SHONUGA
Ahead of Eid-el-Fitri celebration today, prices of tomatoes, pepper and chicken have increased in major markets in Lagos, TBI Africa reports.
A survey by TBI Africa on Thursday at Mile 12, Oyingbo, Iddo and Ikosi Markets, revealed that a 40kg basket of tomatoes, which previously cost N30,000 in May now goes for N35, 000.
Prices of some food items in Lagos- a 50kg basket of “tatashe’’ (pepper) rose from N17, 000 to N20, 000, while a basket of Chilli pepper (rodo) also increased from N16, 000 to N20, 000.
Similarly, akilogramme of frozen chicken increased from N1,000 to N1,200, while its carton goes for N8,400. The price of live chicken sells between N2,500 and N5,000, depending on the size.
However, a jute bag of onions reduced from N22, 000 to N18,000, while a 100kg bag of beans maintained its previous price of N38,000.
A 50kg bag of rice ranges between N13, 000 and N17,000, depending on the brand, while a paint measurement of “garri’’ increased from N400 to N450.
Traders at the markets attributed the price increases to low supply due to migration of farmers to more secured areas and increase in transportation costs.
The spokesman of Mile 12 Market Perishable Foods Traders Association, Femi Odusanya, said there was urgent need for government to address farmers/herders crisis across the country.
“The present supply of tomatoes to the market is insufficient to meet the demands of consumers.
“During the peak season for tomatoes, the market receives about 100 trucks of 30 tonnes of tomatoes per day, but now, hardly do we get up to 10 trucks daily.
“Even the tomatoes from the South-West that used to bridge the short supply from northern states is not enough,’’ he said.
He urged state governments to explore opportunities of investing in mechanised farming in the areas where they had comparative advantage to boost food production in the country.
“States like Kano and Kaduna should invest more in irrigation farming so that we can have an all-year production of tomatoes.
“This will address the issue of seasonal effect that pushes the cost of perishable produce out of the reach of the masses,’’ he said.
Odusanya said that government should also give more incentives to investors to encourage agro-processing.