- As the fight against coronavirus pandemic gets tougher, prices of perishable goods drop in market across the state
- A visit by Legit.ng to Ojodu-Berger market, Ojodu, Lagos, showed the increment in the cost price perishable goods and the fluctuation in the cost price of food items
- Traders attribute this change in the market to the COVID-19 crisis, present weather condition and the market environment as well as the present state of the economy
The fight against COVID-19 gets tougher by the day with increasing number of deaths in Nigeria and beyond. The effect of this pandemic is felt by all but the government as part of its efforts to protect the lives of its citizens reverse its decision to the reopening of worship centres in the country.
In the middle of various efforts and activities in the state, the prices of perishables in the market this week rises further while that of food items fluctuates. For foodstuff items, their prices remain stable as traders inform of gradual sales.
In a chat with Legit.ng sellers explain in detail the cost price of perishables and the level of purchase following this development.
Presently, there is increment in the cost price of perishable items like tomatoes and pepper while onion maintained stability in price. A tomato seller lament over the recent development but expects a better patronage ahead.
She said: “Now, there has been continuous rise in the cost price of tomatoes and pepper for reasons unknown to us the seller and the supply is a bit affected. A basket of tomatoes we purchase for N10,000 before, the round shaped tomatoes (Jos and Benue tomatoes) cost N25,000 now while the Yoruba tomatoes are sold from N7,000 and N8,000 upwards because it is watery. Pepper, is very expensive and now a bag of pepper is sold from N15,000 upwards as against its old price of N10,000 below. A small handy bag of pepper is sold from N4,000 upwards same with small basket of tomatoes.
“For onion, it maintained stability in price this week. A bag is sold from N18,000 upwards while the big bag is sold from N30,000 upwards. But for these goods, the smashed ones that are mixed with the good ones are sold at a very reasonable price. But it is advisable for one to purchase the fresh and well preserved perishable items.
“The market is very dull and sales level poor. Buyers are purchasing the goods in low quantity and this is not helpful to the survival of our business. What we do now is display our goods in large quantities as this would attract the buyers else we would end up in debt.
“It is rainy season; this period sales can be quite poor but we are expectant of good sales in weeks ahead. Also, this rain would affect the transportation of the goods from the farm to the market considering the nature of our roads, but we would scale through as always.”
At the market, the old yam is gradually giving way for the new yam hence its increment in the cost of purchase. Speaking with our correspondent, a yam seller revealed that the rising price of yam has led to low patronage especially from regular buyers.
He stated that: “We have different types of yam but the Abuja yam is very expensive but taste very good and preferred by most buyers. The cost price of yam rises further because it is now dry yam, giving way for the new yam. As soon as the new yam floods our market, the old/dry yam will become scarce and even not available in the market for a long time. Now, the dry yam is very expensive and some traders, who are not making profit from the previous purchase, do not sell again; they now resolved to selling other goods that are in season and sells well with the present weather condition.
“A small tuber of yam is sold from N800 upwards while the big-sized tuber of yam is sold from N1,200 and N1,500, N1,800 respectively. We are really frustrated with the turnout of events in the market lately; nothing is happening. It is getting worse and if you don’t sell your goods at a particular time of the day, you will close with a pain in the neck and this is not good for business at all. Our regular customers, most don't patronize us again. Sales would be very low as long as the economy is bad and thus reflected is the result of the drop of the income of buyers in a long time now.”
At the same market, foodstuff dealers revealed the stability in the cost price of their goods; adding that patronage is quite encouraging. Also, some of the sellers’ sat idle watching as their neighbour are busy making good sales from loyal customers.
In a chat with Legit.ng, a seller expressed satisfaction over sales level and hoped for better market condition.
“This week, foodstuff items maintained stability in cost price and so far sales are coming up and we are encouraged daily. But you know, as a trader you should always seek ways to improve customer satisfaction; this some of us do and we make sales daily by giving our customers reason to come patronize us daily.
“There is reduction in the cost price of foodstuff items now in the market; the cost price of egusi and ogbono is determined by the content of the bag and the size of the bag as well as their type. This period, a bag of egusi is sold from N80,000 upwards while that of ogbono is sold from N90,000 upwards. Dry pepper and crayfish has been very affordable and the sales encouraging; a nylon of crayfish depending on the market visited and how fresh the crayfish is, is sold from N14,000 upwards. The supply of crayfish and dry pepper is high in various markets across the state.
“Some traders increase the cost price of their goods while others just add a little amount to the cost price of their goods and when buyers are willing to purchase goods in large quantity, we sell at a reduced price so that when next they visit the market they will come running to our shop. This is the way to go now because everyone is trying to make a living and survive by feeding well.
“There is increased availability of foodstuff items in the market lately yet some sellers’ are not making good sales and this continues to affect the smooth running of their businesses. The battle against the COVID-19 is getting tougher by the day and the government is working hard to keep us all safe but the economy is really getting hit and we are all affected by this daily. It is not easy I must say but we are going to overcome this phase in due time,” The foodstuff dealer told Legit.ng.
Food items dealer at the market have a different story to tell relating to the cost price of rice, beans and garri lately. A rice seller informed of the stability in the cost price of the goods but decry low purchasing power of buyers.
The rice seller affirmed that: “There is economic hardship; resources are being poured in to fight against coronavirus and businesses are crumbling because of this pandemic. We are not making sales as we ought to and the buyers are not buying goods the way they should, the quantity of purchase is small now.
“We have different type of rice same with beans and their prices vary according to their type. A bag of foreign rice cost N28,000 while a bag of local rice is sold from N21,000, N23,000 and N24,000 but the ones that is stony can be purchased from N19,000 upwards and a derica of rice is sold from N300 upwards now. Garri is still sold at the usual price of N750 per paint bucket and the bag is sold from N12,000 upwards. A small bag of beans is sold from N15,000 upwards; depending on the type of beans, the size and content of the bag used.
“In order to make reasonable sales daily; we send some of the boys out of the shop to sell the goods by the roadside of the market to those buying in bit and we stay in the shop to attend to those who are buying in large quantity. Buyers are complaining seriously and we sell goods according to the cost of purchase. With all that is happening in the country, we just hope for an improved economy when all this is over.”
Additionally, there is fluctuation in the cost price of provisional items and increment in the cost price of groundnut-oil while the cost price of palm-oil is stable. A trader explained to our correspondent the rise in the price of the items and how the economy as well as the market influences their cost of purchase.
The seller opined that: “Now, the cost of purchase of provisional items has increased; some rises and fall and others fluctuate further. It is not the doing of the sellers but the manufacturers as well as the suppliers but not forgetting that the economy influences it as well.
“The market also determines the cost of goods being sold. The market is not in good shape because it is too dull; you see the presence of buyers yet they are not buying in large quantity and some get to walk away when they are short of cash to get the product or item needed.
“Just recently, the cost price of groundnut-oil increased from N14,000 to N16,500 for branded ones while the ones that are purchased from other countries are sold from N13,500 same with refill but palm-oil is sold from N11,500 upwards and some sell theirs from N12,000 upwards.”
Further findings at the market showed the level of sales so far in recent times is influenced by the economy.
On the other hand, fruit sellers lament over the increment in the cost price of fruits that are out of season and the ones that are in season are available and affordable; adding that the effect of the pandemic is biting harder on the cost price of goods, affecting to a large extent the purchasing power of the buyers.
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