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Consumers switch to pastes as prices of tomatoes skyrocket

tomatoesFresh tomato consumers are gradually switching to pastes on account of a ravaging disease known as ‘Tuta Absoluta’, which has forced prices of tomatoes to increase by 135 percent. A big basket of tomato, which went for N17, 000 a month ago is now sold for N40, 000. The increase in price has forced consumers…to search for alternatives

The prices of tomatoes, rice and garri, which went up at the turn of the season, have yet to come down in most markets in Lagos metropolis, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The survey, which was carried out at Mile 12, Whitesand and Iddo markets in Lagos on Friday, revealed that the high price was mainly due to off season effects.

The survey revealed that a basket of tomatoes which previously cost N26, 000 was being sold for between N28, 000 and N40, 000, depending on the size and quality.

It also showed that a bag of rice cost between N13, 000 and N15, 000, depending on the brand while a paint tin measure of garri increased to N550 from N400.

The bag price of tatashe and rodo, both brands of pepper, rose from N13,000 to N13, 500 although, onions decreased from N12, 000 to N10, 000.

A bag of beans remained at N18,000, a bag of maize increased from N10,000 to N11,000 while a paint tin measure of wheat reduced from N1,100 to N1,000.

Mr Femi Odusanya, spokesman for Mile 12 Market Traders Association, attributed the price increase to off-season effects and partly to the lingering fuel scarcity in the country.

He said the off season effect was only worsened by the lingering fuel scarcity, as the number of trucks that supplied tomatoes to the market had reduced.

“This is responsible for the tomato scarcity that consumers have been complaining about even before the increase in the pump price of petrol,” Odusanya said.

He further clarified that the current prices were not as a result of the review in the pump price of petrol, as evident in the prices prior to the increase. (NAN)

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