Ahead of Eid-el-Fitr celebration on Tuesday, prices of tomato have soared by 42 percent in some markets in Lagos, South-West Nigeria.
According to a survey conducted by source at Mile 12, Oyingbo, Iddo and Mushin markets, Lagos on Saturday, a 40 kilogramme (kg) basket of tomato, which cost N12,000 in May has increased to N17,000.
Conversely, a 50 kg basket of red bell pepper (Tatashe) dropped from N12,000 to N9,000, while a 50 kg Chilli pepper (Sombo) got a N500 increase to cost N9,500 as against N9,000.
A jute bag of onion increased from N13,000 to N15,000; price of a 50kg bag of rice ranges between N14,500 to N19,500 depending on its brand, while 25-litres of palm oil increased from N8,200 to N8,500.
The price of live chicken ranges between N2,500 to N6,000, while one kilogramme of frozen chicken and turkey cost N1,100 and N1,300 respectively.
Mr Femi Odusanya, Spokesperson, Mile 12 Perishable Traders Association, attributed the price increase to off-season effect, inadequate mechanized farming system and cost of transportation.
He noted that 75 percent of perishable food farmers were peasant farmers who practised rain-fed agriculture, thus limiting their production cycle and yield.
“We need to empower more farmers so that they can have access to irrigation system and machinery that can increase their production and profitability.
“If we have more of that in the country, there will be little complaints about high cost of food items and we would have access to various foods all-year round,’’ he said.
Odusanya, however, maintained that the prices of the tomatoes were likely to reduce in July with the entry of Southwest species of tomatoes:
“With the harvest of Southwest tomatoes and entry into the market, we foresee a reduction in price back to about N12,000 before the end of July.’’
Amaka E. Nliam