Eid-El-Kabir: Imported tomatoes force down price of produce in Lagos market

fresh tomatoes waiting for buyers

Ahead of Eid-el-Kabir celebration, the prices of tomatoes, pepper and onions have reduced in most markets in Lagos, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

A check by NAN on Friday at Mile 12, Oyingbo, Ile-Epo and Iddo Markets, showed that a 40kg basket of tomatoes, sold at N29,000 in July now goes for between N12,000 and N15,000.

A basket of “tatashe’’ (pepper) decreased from N15,000 to N10,000, while a basket of Chilli pepper (rodo) also dropped from N10,000 to N7,000.

However, a 100kg jute bag of onions increased from N18,000 to N24,000, 50kg bag of rice ranges between N12,000 and N17,000 depending on the brand, while a paint measurement of “garri’’ remains at N400.

Similarly, one kilogramme of frozen chicken and turkey goes for N1,000 and N1,200 respectively, while the price of live chicken sells between N3,000 and N5,000, depending on the size.

The spokesman of Mile 12 Market Perishable Foods Traders Association, Femi Odusanya, attributed the price decline to influx of tomatoes and pepper from Republic of Benin and Cameroon.

Odusanya said: “This is the off-season for tomatoes in the market, and usually this period, a basket of tomatoes could sell as high as N45,000, because demand outweighs the supply and seasonal effects.

“To stabilise prices of foods and to reduce hardship on the people, leaders in various markets deployed different strategies and one of such is partnership with neighbouring countries to augment our supply.

“Now, we have large influx of goods from traders from Republic of Benin and Cameroon in our markets. Also produce from the South-West states of the country are available to augment the shortfall.

“Residents of Lagos can enjoy the ‘Ileya’ festival without concern about high cost of food, and a lot of consumers have been rushing to the market to purchase food. There has been no complaint from them.”

Meanwhile, the prices of livestock like sheep, goats and cattle increased compared to the previous year as medium-size sheep ranges from N80,000 to N120,000, as against N50, 000 to N80,000.

Alhaji Yahaya Jubril, a livestock seller at Sabo market, Ikorodu, attributed the price increase to farmers and herders clash and harsh economic situation of the country.

He urged the Federal Government to ensure adequate security of lives and property across the country toward improving the livelihood of citizens and food production.

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