As the Muslims prepare for the Ramadan fast, prices of perishable items have doubled in most markets in port Harcourt. Our correspondent who was in the market to buy perishable items from the Fruit garden perishable markets reports that prices of bags of cabbage have doubled from #6,000 to 12,000 and a basket of tomatoes had also gone up from #4500 two weeks ago to #11,000. A look at similar commodities in Mile one, Creek road, and Rumuokoro markets also reflects the increase in this items as tomatoes worth hundred naira was no longer available for sale. Prices of tomatoes are from #200 upwards for 6 sizeable seeds.
When asked for the reason of the sharp increase, the traders informed our correspondent that the Muslims have stopped going to the farm ahead of the fasting which is expected to begin soon. Some of the traders attributed the sharp increase of perishable good to seasonal goods while others say price increase is ahead of the religious exercise.
Prices of tomato and pepper have soared by 60 per cent in some markets in Lagos, A NAN survey conducted at Mile 12, Oke Odo, Oyingbo and Iddo markets, Lagos, showed that a 40-kilogramme basket of tomato, which cost N5,000 two weeks ago had risen to N12,000.
Similarly, a 50-kg basket of bell pepper (tatashe) has risen to N12, 000 from its previous price of N6, 000; 50kg Chilli pepper (sombo) costs N9, 000 as against N5, 000, while a basket of scotch bonnet pepper (rodo) costs N13, 500 as against N9,000.
Alhaji Haruna Mohammed, Market Leader, Mile 12 Perishable Traders Association, attributed the price increase to off-season effect and cost of transportation.
He, however, maintained that the prices of the food items were still relatively cheaper compared to the same period two years ago.
Mohammed said the influx of perishable food items from South-West states and Cameroon into the market would augment the shortfall of supply from the North, and ensure that their prices were not too expensive.
Conversely, the price of a bag of onion decreased from N15, 000 to N13, 000; 25 liters of palm oil dropped from N9, 000 to N8, 200 and five liters of vegetable oil cost N2400.