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Irish potato price spikes as 50kg costs N120,000 in Jos

The price of Irish potatoes has skyrocketed as a bag of 50kg sells for N120,000 at Yandoya Market in Jos, Jos North LGA of Plateau…

The price of Irish potatoes has skyrocketed as a bag of 50kg sells for N120,000 at Yandoya Market in Jos, Jos North LGA of Plateau State.

The state is one of the areas that produce potatoes in commercial quantities and supply them to neighbouring countries such as Niger Republic, Cameroon, and Chad among others. However, this year, the commodity is scarce even in the state.

Unlike before, when the market would always witness buyers from within and outside the state, this time around, the market looks dry. Although the commodity can still be found in the market, sellers complain of poor patronage as buyers are deterred by the high price.

It was gathered that people are no longer buying the community, as majority of Jos residents now go for other food items cheaper than the potatoes.

Our correspondent who visited the market on Monday reports that there were no buyers of the commodity. The sellers said between April and May, the price of a 50kg bag increased from N50,000 to N120,000, a situation that many said was the first in many decades, adding that the commodity has become one of the most expensive food items in the state.

Victoria Bulus, a potato dealer in the market, explains the current price of the commodity in Jos, saying, “I buy the commodity directly from the farmers in the villages and sell to traders here at Yandoya market who then display it in small quantities.

“It has been my business for years but this time around, the price has shot up. During the Ramadan period, we sold a 50kg bag of potatoes at the price of N47,000 to N50,000.

What are the causes of the sudden price hike of the commodity? 

Udoro Joseph, a potato trader in the market said factors such high price of fertiliser and other farming inputs as well as the communal crisis in the potato producing areas have caused the hike in prices.

She, however, said if the price of farm inputs, particularly fertiliser is reduced, the price of potatoes will also go down as many farmers will go back to the farm.

Usaini Ubale, another potato trader in the market, said “One of the reasons is that things are very costly in the country. So, what we witness today is the multiplier effect of the inflation in the country.

“If government intervenes by subsidising fertiliser and other farming inputs, definitely a lot of farmers will go back to the farm and the price will also go down. But if you cultivate without getting money to purchase fertiliser, everything will become useless.”

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