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Pepper, tomato scarcity hit Ilorin as Eid-el-Kabir approaches

Pepper, a common spice in the cuisines of many Nigerians, has suddenly become a scarce commodity in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital as Eid-el-Kabir approaches.…

Pepper, a common spice in the cuisines of many Nigerians, has suddenly become a scarce commodity in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital as Eid-el-Kabir approaches.

In a market survey conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday at the Mandate market, in Ilorin West LGA where pepper is sold in large quantities, the commodity has become expensive in the last few weeks.

NAN reports that the product had become scarce, with little or none in sight, including tomatoes.

Some pepper sellers attributed the scarcity to flooding and pest attacks in the North where pepper is grown in large quantities.

Mallam Jamilu Isa said they were expecting the vehicles that bring pepper and onions, but they were informed that there was no goods for them to load.

He lamented that all had been washed away by flood and those not washed were affected by pests.

A small container of tomatoes formerly sold for N150 now sells for N2,000 while a wastebin basket formerly sold for between N1,500 and N2,000 now goes for N15,000, and big basket of N10,000 now sells for N175,000 and above.

Also, a basket of Scotch Bonnets popularly called “rodo” sold for N1,500 before, now goes for N12,000.

Similarly, a bag of onions now goes for N75,000 as against N50,000 and below that it was sold.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, food prices in Nigeria increased 40.53 per cent in April of 2024 over the same month in the previous year and food inflation reached an all-time high of 40.53 per cent in April of 2024.

In a visit to ram dealers, they lamented low sales as buyers complained of the high prices of rams.

A ram seller, Mr Azeez Abdullahi, said the ram that went for N50,000 a few years back is sold for between N170,000 and N200,000 and above this year.

He identified the high cost of feeds and transportation as responsible for the hike in the price of the ram.

A prospective customer, Mr Yahaya Usman said with the exorbitant price, some of his friends are planning to contribute money to buy a cow and share which is also acceptable in Islam as an alternative to rams. (NAN)

 

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