During boom periods, especially at the beginning of dry season, a basket a tomatoes hardly cost more than N1,000.
A mudu of tomatoes, which sold for N40 is now N250, onions N400 and pepper N350, a development which makes many families to cook without the basic ingredients. “Tomatoes and onions are the basic ingredients for cooking, especially for families that cannot afford meat. Unfortunately, many families cannot afford both now,” Mallam Saminu who went to the Damaturu market for shopping lamented.
A vegetable farmer, Nuru Bularafa, attributed the hike to rainfall, which, according to him, “does not support the growth of vegetables”.
“Once the rain sets in, vegetables would be scarce even though the situation is worse this year”, he added.
Kanem Trust reports that some “smart families” were, however, using dry potatoes and pepper to cook their soup. “We sliced and exposed the vegetables to the sun when we have them in abundance…it is a way of preserving them and you can see that we are using them now”, Malama Fatima, a house wife at Nayinawa settlement in Damaturu, said.