There is a silent but outrageous protest as the price of Awara (soya bean cake) shoots up in some parts of Kano State.
Customers blame sellers’ unhealthy obsession with profit maximization for the increase, while the sellers cite the increase in the price of white oil as the reason behind the new pricing.
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Findings have shown that in different parts of the state the price has increased by five or ten percent depending on the location.
Some arawa sellers have floated a N50-per-three policy to navigate the market forces, citing an increase in the prices of the ingredients.
Others have resorted to slashing the size of the cake or being moderate in adding spices to the mixture.
A respondent, Yahaya Sa’id, who said he cannot do without Awara, said he was disturbed by the way sellers slash the size of the product.
Said said, “I am really disturbed by the way the size of the Soya bean cake is slashed by the sellers.
“This is a clever way of increasing the price. Of course in my area there is no increase in the price, but a reduction in the size of the product.”
Why the hike?
It is learnt that the hike followed an increase in the price of white oil and Soya beans in the state.
A bottle of white oil that was sold between N400 and 450 is now sold at N600.
Mukhatar Hayaya Sani, who deals in white oil, said the price of a 50 litre Jerry Can of white oil that was sold at N12,500 in the market has jumped up to N18,00 overnight.
Sani said, “The increase in the price of white oil is instrumental in this regard.
“But this alone may not have worsened the situation as there is a general increase in the prices of foodstuffs in the market.
“Everyday one hears of new prices. And we have not understood why the increase”
On another part, the price of Soya beans has skyrocketed, to the dismay of the consumers.
A bowl of Soya beans that was sold at N400 and N450 is now sold N600, findings show.
Selling points fold up
Many awara businesses have folded up because the sellers have counted enough loss.
“Why couldn’t I fold the business? The sale is down as my customers have shifted to fried sweet potato because of the reduction in the size of awara, which I opted for to stabilize the business,” said Aisha Ali.
She added that the situation was unbearable to her and her customers, as she waits to see if the prices of the ingredients will come down.
Another respondent, Auwalu Mohammed said, the girl they were buying awara from had folded the business because she couldn’t afford the loss.
“She tried to reconcile the increase in the price of white oil and the size of the product or increase in the price, but that proved difficult for her. She just let go up.”
Rukayya Muhammed, an awara seller, said that she and her colleagues could not increase the price, but have opted for the new policy of N50-per-three policy.
Rukayya said, “The prices of white oil and Soya beans have all gone up.
“The only alternative we have is to adopt this N50-per-three policy to keep our customers.
“We are also disturbed. We hope the prices will come down soon.”