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Grains prices rise further in Katsina markets

The high cost of living has opened a new chapter in rural areas of Katsina State as the market price of farm produce shot to…

The high cost of living has opened a new chapter in rural areas of Katsina State as the market price of farm produce shot to the rooftop last week, Daily Trust reports.

Maize and sorghum were the most sought for food items in Funtua, Dandume and Bakori markets, where many buyers were seen chasing the few that was supplied in the markets.

Sabo Halliru a maize dealer in Dandume said the development did not take them by surprise as they predicted the short supply of maize particularly after Sallah break.

“We know by this time the farmers have sold the little grains they had saved for farming. Some of us that took advantage of Cash swap regime to hoard the produce are not ready to bring it to markets now; we are gearing for huge profit in the next few weeks.”

Halliru added that a 100Kg maize now cost not less than N38,500 at Dandume market.

“Last Tuesday, bags of maize and sorghum were sold at Bakori market at the rate of N40,000 and N36,000 respectively. On Wednesday, maize was sold at N38,500 and Sorghum N34,000 at Dandume market. Millet too has gone up to N39,000,” said Sabo Halliru.

Usman Aminu, a resident of Funtua town, said as a result of the recent rise in prices of food items, many households were going to bed on empty stomachs.

“Feeding our families has become an issue, a measure of maize flour is now N1000 instead of N600 it was sold weeks back. Local rice too has reached N72,000 from N66,000 per 100kg whereas a measure is sold at N1,800 at local markets.”

Aminu added that in rural areas where most people engage in menial jobs, they cannot averagely make more than N1000 a day and they have to feed their families at least twice a day.

“Three square meal is no longer feasible, some feed twice while for some, it is only once. Those that cannot afford maize flour or rice have resorted to cassava flour which is now N600 per measure.

“Processed foods such as macaroni, spaghetti and couscous are beyond affordability of the average rural man; we depend largely on what we produce and the problem is that those farm produce are now beyond the reach of many of us,” said Usman Aminu.

On the reasons why the short supply of the produce especially maize persists, Alhaji Sa’adu Yan’kara, a grain dealer, said besides the mop up of the produce during currency swap period; insecurity and high cost of fertilizer reduced the volume of maize production last year.

“Many farms were not cultivated here in Faskari, Sabuwa and Kankara LGAs because bandits have permeated most of the villages and residents have since relocated to safer towns and cities. Those that could go to farm only cultivated sorghum and soybeans because they could not afford the high cost of fertilizer. Same problem is repeating itself this year,” said Alhaji Sa’adu Yan’kara.

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