- The spike in food prices continues to affect the availability of goods within the country
- This not only bothers on the existence of businesses in the market environment but also the pace of business activities
- At the market this week, Legit.ng sought to find out from traders, some goods that have gone into extinction in recent times, and why
Food items continues to record increment in its prices as traders’ in the market lament scarcity of some goods and low supply of others.
This period, some goods are available and some are scarce; for some items, they are gradually out of season and for others, certain factors aids their availability.
The availability of food in markets across the country is influenced by various factors that either makes it affordable or expensive. When goods are available, they become very affordable especially in major markets, but when goods are scarce, they become very expensive, affecting both the sellers and the buyers.
In recent times, the availability of goods has become a major challenge in the country due to issues like flooding, weather conditions, seasonal factors, high cost of production and raw materials and the market factor.
Food is important so is the money used in purchasing food items of utmost importance. While some goods experience an increased demand, the demand for others fell due to drop in resources as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The pandemic inadvertently led to a rise in the price of food items due to the mismatch of demand and supply. Presently, there are some goods in the market, whose cost price increased and demand drops further; and there are others whose supply increased and their demand dropped as well.
COVID-19 continues to affect lives especially the food supply chain leading to food insecurity. Findings at the market revealed that in recent times, the production of goods is lower than the demand level, hence the need for imported goods in order to avoid scarcity of major goods.
This week, Legit.ng visited the market to confirm from traders the goods that are gradually going into extinction, amidst second wave of coronavirus pandemic and rising security crisis in the northern region of the country;
Traders at the market, gave a list of goods that are very scarce in the market now as demand for goods in the market dropped further even as cost of production of goods in the country rises daily;
One major item in the market that has gone into extinction is onion. Although still available but it is very expensive as some sellers cannot afford the commodity.
Onion are of different varieties; we have the white onion, the red onion and the yellow onion. But the most popular one in Nigeria is the red onion. Also, the red onion is divided into two; the dry onion and the new onion.
Now referred to as the ‘new gold’, the spike in the cost price of onion according to sellers, was as a result of the ban placed on the export of the crop by growers in other countries, aftermath of the ‘EndSarsProtest’, the attack on farmers and suppliers who conveyed the goods in the northern region of the country; from the farm to the marketplace and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The item is expensive and also scarce; a small bag of onion sells from N40,000 upwards and the big bag from N80,000 and N85,000 upwards.
But as at the time of filling this report, some traders told our correspondent that the cost price of the produce would drop in months to come due to the present supply level of the item.
Sweet potato is highly nutritious. Sweet potatoes are rich source of fibre as well as containing an array of vitamins and minerals.
Sweet potatoes offer a particular significant potential for increasing food production and income in Nigeria like other agricultural crops. It provides job for Nigerian farmers as well as increase their income; the leaves and roots of this crop are used as animal feed.
In recent times, due to the continuous impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy and the rise in the security issues in the northern region of the country, sweet potato has become very scarce, as the available ones are very expensive.
Findings at the market revealed that apart from the seasonal factor, the cost of purchase on the part of the traders’ is very high, and most sellers cannot afford to purchase the item due to the drop-in demand and resources.
A bag of sweet potato is sold from N13,000 upwards as against its old price of N8,000, N9,000 and N10,000 while some sell theirs from N15,000; other sellers hinted that the supply level of the item has dropped further in recent days same with the profit level.
Cassava flakes otherwise known as garri is processed from tubers and is considered to be a life-saving food because of its versatility.
It is prepared into a variety of delicacies hence its demand is often high; garri is enjoyed either raw, cooked or soaked. At the market this week, sellers informed that garri is one item that is going into extinction due to the rising cost price of the item and the fall in demand as well.
The cost price of garri rises and fall but the cost of purchase in previous year dropped but now, it is increasing in the market as a small bag of garri in the market is sold from N13,000 upwards as against its old price of N11,500.
The reason being that the farmers are not back in their farms, they are still resting while the available ones are sold in expensive rate because the supply is very low now, the sellers at the market revealed.
Legumes are a good source of protein and fibre. They have no cholesterol and very little fat and sodium, yet they provide lots of potassium and some calcium and iron as well.
Beans are a rich source of fibre and B vitamins. They are also a great replacement for meat as a source of vegetarian protein.
Prepared in varieties like honey beans, black eyed peas beans and Nigerian brown beans, beans aid in disease prevention.
In Nigeria, the supply of beans varies same with its demand. The cost price of beans in the market now has gone up compared to previous weeks. Sellers’ informed, it is one food item whose demand increases daily and the supply is very low hence the available ones are very expensive yet the new beans is in season.
A bag of oloyin beans that was sold from N18,000 in previous weeks has increased to N21,000 upwards and a bag of olotu that cost N33,000 and N35,000 in previous weeks has increased to over N50,000 now. With this price in view, the food items dealers indicated that demand for the item in the market now dropped and the new beans in the market cannot meet up with the demand level.
PALM-OIL AND GROUNDNUT-OIL
Palm oil has many advantages. It is the highest yielding vegetable crop which makes it very efficient and very popular.
Palm oil has been linked to several health benefits and can be used for different purposes, hence its importance cannot be overemphasized as it is a cheap and available cooking medium.
Palm oil is used in everyday products; In Nigeria, it is produced majorly in the eastern states and also in the western region of the country. But most buyers considered the eastern produce of the item as one of good quality and the one from the west is lesser in quality.
Now, palm-oil is very expensive as the cost price increased drastically within weeks. Some sell 25-litre of palm-oil from N25,000 upwards; the quality one and the ones less in quality are sold from N23,000 and below in a popular Lagos market while 25-litre of groundnut-oil is sold from N18,000 upwards.
When asked reasons for the hike in the cost price of the items, some sellers at the market stated that they are also not aware and others attribute the hike in the cost price of cooking oil to the economy, pandemic and the rising security issues in the states where they are produced.
Crayfish is a major source of protein which enriches and enhances taste of soups and food generally.
Nigerians get crayfish directly from the sea or rear them in crayfish farms; they are caught in the Niger delta, smoked or sun dry for commercial purposes.
Crayfish business is a great business anyone can venture into and succeed as no special skill is required except good capital. It is very profitable due to its increasing demand as they form an indispensable food item in the diet of most Nigerians especially those from the southern states where it is mainly found.
At the market this week, sellers opined that the cost price of crayfish had gone up as they are sold in measurement. This makes it scarce and the ones that are available in the market are sold higher than the initial price.
A bag of crayfish is sold from N55,000 and N60,000 upwards as against its old price of N45,000 and below.
Meanwhile, listed above are some of the goods that has gone into extinction; further findings by Legit.ng at the market showed the availability of the items but the cost of purchase is alarming as buyers lament daily on the irregularity of food prices in markets across the state.
In another development, there has been a drop in the cost of purchase of some goods in the market now. There is a noticeable change in the cost price of goods like yam, tomato, pepper, ogbono and egusi, tomato paste, spaghetti and macaroni, to mention but a few; traders attributed this to seasonality of some especially fruits and and an increased supply of others.
We are hungry - Traders lament on hiked prices of goods via Legit TV