The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS yesterday said that the prices of beef and Yam rose up by 24.9 per cent and 22.8 per cent Year-on-Year, YoY respectively in May, reflecting the continued increase in prices of goods and services across the country.
A market survey showed that the price of tomatoes, a major food item, has risen by 140 percent in four months to N6, 000 as of yesterday, up from N2, 500 in February 2023.
Similarly, a crate of unbroken tomatoes now costs N30,000 in Mile 12 food market Lagos, up from N15,000, while a basket of tomatoes now costs N70,000 to N90,000, up from N38,000 to N45, 000.
The continued increase in prices of goods and services has pushed the inflation rate to 22.41 per cent in May, representing the highest level in 15 years.
Speaking to newsmen on the rising trend in the price of tomatoes, Mrs. Folashade Omotayo, a tomato seller in Iyana-iba market, Lagos, said: “A crate of tomato from Mile 12 market now costs N30,000 while a basket depending on the size is now N70,000 to N90,000.
“I sell a bucket of tomato for N6,000 and five pieces of big tomato for N1000.
“Farmers cited off-season scarcity, pests and logistics costs as reasons for the surge in the price of tomato.
“I have to mix the selling of Yoruba tomatoes which is cheaper with that of the Hausa species to make ends meet.”
On the rate of patronage, Mrs. Ramota Kazeem, a tomato seller at Ikotun market, Lagos lamented poor sales saying: “There is less sales when compared with before. Now we shade four to five big pieces of tomato for N1,000 and four small pieces for N500 which was N200 before. Only a few people patronise me.
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“Many now go for fresh pepper which is cheap when compared with tomatoes. They mix it with tin tomato paste and dry tatashe.
“This results in the commodity getting spoiled and resulting in a huge loss for me.”
“Other sellers are also experiencing this.”
In its Selected Food Price Watch for May 2023 released yesterday, the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, said that the prices of other food items have risen both month-on-month (MoM) and year-on-year (YoY).
NBS said: “Selected Food Price Watch for May 2023 shows that the average price of 1kg of beef bone-less stood at N2,520 in May 2023. This indicates a 24.19 percent rise in price on a YoY basis, from N2,029.59 recorded in May 2022 and a 1.0 percent rise in price on a MoM basis from N2,495 in April 2023.
“The average price of 1kg of local rice (sold loose) rose by 24 percent on a YoY basis from N447 in May 2022 to N555 in May 2023.
“On a MoM basis, it in-creased by 1.54 percent from N546 in April 2023.
“Similarly, the average price of 1kg of Onion bulb rose by 17.12 percent on a YoY basis from N387 in May 2022 to N453 in May 2023, and on a MoM basis, the price increased by 2.8 percent.
“The average price of 1kg of Yam tuber rose by 22.8 percent on a YoY basis from N372 in May 2022 to N457 in May 2023.
“On a MoM basis, it increased by 2.8 percent from N444 in April 2023.” On state profile analysis, the highest average price of 1kg of Tomato was recorded in Edo with N957.95, while the lowest was recorded in Kogi with N215.43.