The alarming increase in prices of food commodities in Nigeria is making many small agro business owners to lose money due to drop in business patronage.
Mrs Rukayyah Muhammed, a yam trader in Karmo market in Abuja, told Daily Trust on Sunday that the ongoing food inflation has reduced her daily income.
“The price of 100 tubers of yam was between N40,000 and N50,000 this time last year, depending on the size. Then, I used to sell up to 300 tubers a day but with the change in price, I am finding it difficult to sell even up to 200 tubers. Currently, the same quantity of yam is around N80,000 to N100,000 and above. My customers are complaining they don’t have money and yam is expensive,” she said.
Another trader in the market, Awalu Abdulrahim Abdullahi, said corn was N10,000 to N15,000 per bag, but currently, due to insecurity, the cost of yellow corn per bag is N32,000 by 90kg mudus (measures)and this is affecting his business.
“People are not patronizing me like before. If the customer had the intention of buying five mudus of maize, they end up buying two or three because of the increase in price, so this has really reduced my sales and my daily income as well,” Abdullahi said.
He further stated that goods from Niger or Kaduna states are transported per bag at the rate of N300 to N500 but now due to the high cost of Diesel/fuel/gas, he pays N1,000 per bag.
On his part, Salisu Abubakar said he used to buy 50kg of Big Bull rice for N15,000 but currently, it is N38,000 and Gerawa Premium Rice which was N13,000 to N14,000 is now N34,000. “This has really led to low profit and low sales. I used to buy three bags of rice before with N100,000 but now, it can only cover for two bags.”
This situation has also reduced the purchasing power of many consumers, making them to lose interest in buying more goods.
A check in the market showed that a measure (mudu) of rice is now N1,200 from N800. A bag of beans, which was N32,000 few months ago, is currently N58,000. Twenty five litres of palm oil is now N50,000.
“This is one of the reasons why most shops look scanty. A bag of crayfish is now N160,000 but before it was N90,000,” Alhaji Abubakar explained.