Prices of grains in Yola crash due to lack of patronage

A cross-section of grain sellers in the markets are complaining that the fall in the prices of the food commodities was not unconnected with the prevalent cash-crunch in the country. 
A bag of maize now sells for N8,500, against its former price of N11,000, while a measure of maize now sells for N150, instead of N170. While a bag of foreign rice now goes for N15,000, as against its former price of N17,000 and a measure of the rice has also dropped from N800 to N600.
In Yola markets, the current price of a bag of local rice is N13,000, as against N15,000, its former price.
The price of a bag of sugar is now N15,000, instead of the old price of N17,000.
The price of yellow garri has gone down from N11,000 to N8,000, while the white garri has also dropped from N8,000 to N6,000.
Investigation also reveals that a bag of onions, which sold for N8,000 in the past, now goes for N5,500 and the price of a medium-sized basket of onions is N800, as against its old price of N1,100.
A bag of fresh pepper (Tatatse ), which sold for N9,000 in the past, is now sold for N6,000, while a basket of pepper now goes for N900, instead of N1,1000.
A maize seller, Sani Yakubu, told the News Agency  of Nigeria (NAN) that the recent reduction in the cost of food items was due to the prevailing cash crunch in the society.
Yakubu, however, said that the prices of the food items would soon increase. Maimuna Ibrahim, who sells onions and pepper in one of the markets, said that traders were forced to bring down the prices of their commodities, because of a sharp decline in patronage.
She, nonetheless, blamed the reduction in the food prices on the bountiful production and harvest of some food crops.
Ibrahim said that there was an increase in the supply of such food crops in the market.
However, the prices of certain food items have gone up.
For instance, the price tag on a bag of red beans is now N32,000, as against its former price of N28,000, while the price of a measure of red beans has gone up from N500 to N700.
On the other hand, the price of a bag of white beans has fallen from N25,000 to N23,000, but the price of a measure of white beans still maintained its N500 price tag.
In Yola markets, a bag of sweet potato is now sold for N13,000, against N9,000, while a heap of sweet potatoes is sold for N400, as against its previous price of N300.
As regards yams, the price of a heap of yams is sold for N1,200, as against N1,000, its cost in the past. Mustapha Likita, one of the consumers, said that the current market prices of foods were good and within the means of most people. He described the fall in food prices as a good omen, which signified that Nigeria was gradually attaining food sufficiency.
Another buyer, Kefas Ladan, said that the fall in the prices of some food commodities would aid efforts to reduce hunger in the country.
He, however, warned that pragmatic efforts should be made to prevent middlemen from buying and hoarding the food commodities in a plot to force the food prices to escalate.

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