The recent decision by onion producers in the northern part of the country to cut supply to the entire south has led to a sharp rise in the price of the commodity in Kwara State.
To this end, many households in Kwara and other consumers now have to spend more to buy the commodity, one of the most commonly consumed vegetables in the state.
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The Onion Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (OPMAN) had based its decision on the heightened insecurity in the southern parts of the country and the attendant risk it poses to many of its members.
In the past month, prices have been on a steady rise as scarcity hits Kwara markets.
The price of a bag of onion shot up by nearly 200 per cent, according to price checks by Daily Trust in markets across the Ilorin metropolis.
During a visit to the Yoruba Road market, both sellers and buyers lamented the scarcity and gave an insight into how onion prices and availability is increasingly becoming a problem.
“The price of onions is usually higher this time of the year because this is the time farmers in the north grow the crop, but the supply ban has worsened the situation.
“A bag of onion that sold for N14,000 before is now N22,000″, Mallam Garba Dogo, an onion dealer, said.
Agboluaje Grace, a civil servant who was at the market to buy onions, lamented that a N100 worth of onion would no longer be enough to prepare a meal for her family due to the hike in price.
“N100 worth of onion is not enough for me to prepare a meal for my family again. What I bought for N500 now was N100 before”, she added.
Another consumer, Idowu Salako, said: “The government should try to find a lasting solution to the inflation and make the crop available to the people.
“As things stand now, onions are usually very scarce and the ones you can see are always at a very high price and our government is not even making any plan towards addressing the spate of attacks as alleged by the producers,” she said.
In Ipata market, an onion dealer, Mrs Mohammed Rafatu, while commenting on the development, said: “It is quite unfortunate the shortfall in the supply of onion in the country.
“For the past eight days now, the commodity has not been allowed to come to Kwara.
“As at last two weeks, a bag of onion was sold for N14,000 but now N22,000. Things are so hard for us this time. A basket which was N800 before is now selling for N1,300”, she added.
At Mandate market, a bag of onion which was previously sold for N9,000 now costs between N20,000 to N22,000, Ibrahim Aminat, an onion dealer at the market said.
“A bag of onion was sold for N22 owing to the trouble in the South. A basket that was N700 is now N1000.
“The market is dull. We are hungry. We urge the government to help us arrest the situation. No customer to buy the commodity again,” Aminat stressed.