The foodstuff traders in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi capital, have expressed worry over the significant increase in the prices of tomatoes and onions in major markets of the metropolis from what they were in August and September this year.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the development has left dealers on the commodities and the consumers worrying about food security in the state.
A market survey by NAN on Tuesday in Abakaliki, showed that at the popular Kpirikpiri and Ugwuachara markets the price of a big basket of tomatoes sells for between N17,500 and N18,500 as against N12,000 and N13,000 depending on the specie.
A tomatoes trader, Miss Chioma Okoro, attributed the increase in the price of tomatoes to insufficient supply of the commodity from the northern part of the country.
Okoro added that other reasons in the shortage of commodities was the activities #EndSar protests which, allegedly was hijacked by hoodlums across the country and the high cost of transportation.
“Although this is not the season of tomatoes, especially the UTC specie from Jos, but the Benue and Cross River states species of tomatoes are found during rainy period.
“I believe that the continuous scarcity and price increment are due to poor approach to food stability and ignorance on recurrence of the situation.
“Also, the high cost of transportation and the recent #EndSars protests had contributed immensely,” Okoro said.
Miss Uche Abadu, an Onions trader, at the market, also lamented that the increment was related to #EndSars protests and other circumstances.
According to her, a bag of onions is now between N65,000 and N70,000 as against N48,000 and N50,000 in October.
She said that about four pieces depending on the sizes is now between N150 and N250 as against N50 and N100.
She called on the government to pay attention to the situation by ensuring that the high cost of commodities and transportation were checked to reduce hunger and poverty in the society.
Meanwhile, a meat seller at a section of the market, Miss Amanda Nweke, told NAN that the high cost of goat and cow meat were associated with the current situation in the country.
According to her, a kilogramme of goat meat is now between N1, 800 and N2000 depending on the weight as against N 1, 500 and N1, 600.
“A goat is now between N20, 000, N28, 000 and N30, 000, depending on the seize as against N13, 000 and N21, 000.
“Also, a kilogramme of cow meat is now N1, 900 as against N1,600,” Nweke said.
She said that transportation of the animals had increased and urged governments to address the high cost of transportation and ensure safety of the dealers.