Prices of foodstuffs continue to soar in Enugu major markets

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By Francis Ugwu

Prices of some foodstuffs, particularly tomatoes, palm oil and cassava flakes, popularly known as garri, have continued to increase in Enugu’s major markets, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

A NAN correspondent, who conducted a market survey in Enugu on Monday, reports that the prices of foodstuffs increased significantly between April and May.

NAN reports that a big basket of tomatoes now sells for between N55,000 and N60,000 in May as against between N36,000 and N45,000 sold in April.

A visit to some markets in the state capital showed that only four balls of tomatoes go for N400 as against the previous price of N200 while a half of 4.5-litre paint bucket of tomatoes now goes for N3,000.

Miss Ogechukwu Uwakwe, a tomato seller at Garki Market, said that due to the high price of the produce, she could not buy a full basket but rather shared with another tomato buyer to be able to have something to sell in her shop.

Another seller at the New Market, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that she had stopped selling tomatoes for the moment until the price of the produce was reduced.

According to her, the cost of transportation and off-season of most agricultural produce have been the reason for the high cost of most foodstuffs in the city.

Also, the price of palm oil continued to increase in major markets within the Enugu metropolis.

Mrs Edith Ofor, a palm oil seller at Garki Market, said that 25 litres of palm oil now goes for N25,000 as against N18,000 in April.

Ofor blamed the increase on the high price of the produce in its off-season period.

Another palm oil seller at Mayor Market, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that a 75cl now goes for between N1,000 as against N800.

Meanwhile, the situation is the same regarding the price of cassava flakes, popularly called garri, in most markets in the city.

Mrs Joy Eze, seller at Kenyatta Market, said that the increment is very high compared to the prices in previous months.

“The price of garri increased in most markets due to its off-season period, as already planted cassava crops are waiting to be harvested and some new ones are being planted.

“We are hopeful that in a short while there will be a reduction in price of the commodity,” she said.

According to her, a 4.5-litre bucket of garri now goes for between N1,200 and N1,500 as against between N900 and N1,000, depending on the type.

Mr Joseph Ekwueme, a dealer in garri at Ogbete Market, said a bag of garri is sold for N36,000 now as against N22,000 in early April.

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