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How food prices vary across states

A beans market in Auta Balefi, Nasarawa State

Prices of food items vary across many states of the country, a survey by Daily Trust on Sunday has shown.

In Benue State, our correspondent observed that the prices of food vary in different markets across the state capital, Makurdi.

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Traders who spoke to our correspondent in Wadata, High Level, Modern Market and Wurukum, all in Makurdi, said that while the prices of some items crashed minimally, others remained on the high side.

Some of the traders said the prices of maize, millet and guinea corn had reduced, while that of beans, which hitherto crashed, had surprisingly risen again.

The price of local rice has skyrocketed steadily in the past few months, reaching up to N27,000 for a 100kg bag in most of the markets.

At the various markets visited, a 100kg of local rice, which sold at N15,000 before now, has risen to between N26,000 and N27,000 while the 50kg of foreign rice, which sold at N18,000 now goes for N23,000.

The traders, however, attributed the hike in prices of rice to the closure of Nigerian borders with neighbouring countries.

One of the grain traders at the Modern Market in Makurdi, Festus Nduka, said the reduction of a100kg of maize from N12,000 to N8,500 and N9,500, depending on the market,  was a result of harvest by farmers in recent times.

Similarly, Mrs Ene Adama, a trader at Wurukum market, said that a 100kg of millet, which now costs N12, 000, was sold at N14,000, while a 100kg of big beans (old), which went for N19,000  for some months back, has risen to N23,000 and the 100kg of small beans, which sold between N15,000 and N17,000, is now sold at N19,000.

In the same vein, at Wadata and High-Level markets, the duo of Hamisu Bala and Mimi Terkula confirmed stable prices on food items, such as100kg of guinea corn, which still sells between N9,000 and N10,000 in both markets.

Meanwhile, the price of a big basket of Tiv tomatoes is now sold between N4,000 and N6,500, depending on the market.

In Kano State, at the peak of harvest, prices of agricultural commodities in most of the major markets have maintained slight differences.

Our correspondent was told that during harvest, agricultural commodities experience variation in prices, with the previous commodity having upper hand over the newly harvested ones as farmers sell their produce to meet their financial needs.

In Dawanau International Grains Market, old maize is sold at N9,000 per 100kg while the new one goes for N7,000. Old beans is sold at N18,000 per 100kg and the new one goes for N13,000.

Rice continues to show strength as a 100kg bag of rice in the market is now sold at N33,000 and a measure is sold at N900.

Wheat, on the other hand, sells at N22,000 per 100kg in the market.

It was also discovered that sorghum maintained N7,500 per 100kg as the new one is yet to be harvested.

In Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, prices of some foodstuff have crashed at major markets following the harvest of new farm produce.

A check at the Lokoja Old Market, Kpata Market and International Market, showed that prices of commodities such as yam, maize and local rice have come down significantly.

A yam seller at Lokoja Old Market, Hajara Isah, said a set of five to six large tubers of yam, which sold between N5,000 and N6,000 previously, has crashed to between N3,500 and N4,000. She said a set of five medium-sized tubers of yam, which sold at N3, 500 previously, now sells at N2,500.

Hajara said she enjoyed more patronage following the crash in the price of yam.

The cost of maize has also come down significantly. A bag of maize currently sells N4,500 in various markets.

Our correspondent also learnt that the price of local rice has reduced from N26,000 per bag to N22,000.

Findings, however, indicate that the cost of beans and millet still remains on the high side.

A bag of beans is sold between N17,000 and N19,000 while millet costs between N9,000 and N9,500 for 50kg.

Our correspondent gathered that the prices of the commodities are still high because new beans and millet are yet to flood the market.

A visit to some of the markets in Abuja, the nation’s capital and surrounding areas, such as Nasarawa State, indicate that prices of commodities do better, even though the cost of transportation from major producing areas is one of the factors that push the cost higher.

At the Dutse Market, for instance, a 100kg bag of brown beans goes for N33,000 while the 50kg bag sells at N15,000. However, the white bean is sold at N31, 000 for 100kg and N12, 000 for 50kg.

Our reporter observed that local rice, which now comes in 50kg, 100kg and 150kg now sells at N10, 500, N20,000 and N33,000 respectively. However, the price is higher in some shops, depending on the quality of the rice.

Millet and sorghum show equal strength at N13, 000 per 100kg.

However, there are little differences in the prices of these grains from one market to another as noticed in Masaka and Mararaba areas of Nasarawa State.

Mallam Saidu, a beans farmer in Auta Balefi area of Nasarawa State, lamented that the current prices of beans and maize were too low to enable farmers to recoup their cost of production.

According to him, only rice shows a prospect for a better price due to border closure, adding that this year, beans have done poorly in various markets.”

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