The prices of foodstuff and ingredients especially rice, beans, tomatoes and onions have greatly skyrocketed in some major markets across Kaduna State.
Reporters observed that a big basket of tomatoes now sells for between N15,000 and N17,500 as against N9,000 and N12,000 depending on the species.
The price of a small basket of tomatoes now costs between N10,000 and N13,500 as against N5,000 and N10,000 Naira thitherto.
A tomato seller at Kaduna Central Market, Mrs. Rose Nnamani, attributed the increase in the price of tomatoes to insufficient supply of the commodity from the far north due to insecurity, fear of the unknown as kidnapping, has become the order of day.
“The UTC species that usually comes from Jos, which is supposed to have reduced in price from September, is still scarce and expensive,” Mrs. Nnamani explained.
According to her, as at September 2019, the UTC species was sold between N9,000 and N10,500; while the other species from Benue were sold for between N6,500 and N8,000.
Mrs. Angela Ezemanaka, another tomato trader at Kaduna Kawo Market, said the prices might not reduce if the scarcity of those essential commodities persist even as its season of abundance was gradually getting nearer.
According to Christopher Ojochenemi, a customer at Kakuri Market, in the past years, the price of tomatoes tends to reduce towards the end of the year. But blamed the increase this year on End SARS protest, insecurity, COVID-19 lockdown among other significant storms.
He expressed surprise that the price was still high even though this was November.
He urged the government to build storage facilities for preservation of perishable items in the country as that would ensure price stability and availability at all times.
Meanwhile, an onion seller, at Sabo Market, Malam Ado Ibrahim Sani, lamented that the significant increase in the price of onions was associated with other factors apart from seasonal changes.
Mallam Sani listed the factors to include bad roads, increase in transportation fare from the northern part of the country, as well as the recent End SARS protest.
According to him, a bag of onions is now between N65,000 and N70,000 as against N48,000 and N50,000 in October.
Another onion seller at Nasarawa Market, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was forced to suspend trading in the commodity because his customers were seriously lamenting over the price increase in the commodity.
“With the increase in the price of onions, I decided to stop buying and selling the commodity to my customers for now,” he said.