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Coping with high food prices in Enugu markets

The prices of some food items have continued to soar in Enugu major markets midway to rainy season.


A market survey conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in some major markets in Enugu on Saturday showed that prices of foodstuffs had increased by about 45 per cent. At Ogbete Main Market food section, a bag of white and yellow garri (Cassava flakes) which cost N14,000 and N16,500 respectively in April, now sold at N18,000 for the white while the yellow goes for N21,000.


Also a big bag of onions which previously cost N12,000 now goes for between N19,000 and N22,000 while fresh pepper which was previously sold at N8,000 a bag now goes for N10,000.


The survey revealed that the prices of yam tubers had gone high in all the major markets as a sizeable tuber of yam, which previously cost N400 now goes for between N700 and N900, depending on the specie of yam.


A garri dealer at Ogbete market, Mrs Lucy Azubike, said that the increase in price of garri was due to its off season as planting of cassava was ongoing in the state. “Before March, garri was in abundance but is usually costly during the rainy season because it is cassava’s planting season.


“We do not usually practice preservation of agricultural produce which makes food to be much in the market all year round. So the prices of foodstuffs tend to increase during every planting season,” Azubike said.


Mr. Ebuka Njoku, a yam seller at New Market, also attributed the price increase of yam to its scarcity as a result of its planting season. Mrs Ngozi Nwosu, a resident of Achara Layout, said that because of the high cost of yam, she had switched to sweet potatoes, saying that potato was more affordable.


The survey also showed that the price of palm oil had also increased as 20 litres of palm oil now sold at N14,000 as against N9,500 three weeks ago. Miss Joy Ikem, a Palm Oil Dealer at Garki Market, said that many dealers were hoarding palm oil as palm oil fruits were gradually going off season.


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