A survey carried out by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) shows that the prices of tomatoes have increased in most markets in Lagos, on Friday.
Spokesman for Mile 12 Market traders, Mr Femi Odusanya, attributed the increase to the off season and the lingering fuel scarcity in the country.
In the last three months, tomatoes and pepper were in abundance, prompting a basket of tomatoes to drop to N6,000 from N18,000.
He said, “During rainy season, tomatoes are usually costly because the wind interferes with the yield.
He made an appeal to the government to invest more in the preservation of agricultural produce so that marketers can have all-year availability of the item and even export the surplus.
“As it is now, consumers will continue to pay more for food items because prices keep fluctuating due to the exchange rate’’ he said.
According to Odusanya, what is in abundance now is onion, because this is the season.
Alhaja Basirat Balogun, Iyaloja, Mainland Market Association, urged the Federal Government to proffer solutions to the lingering fuel scarcity.
“Traders go through a lot of stress in transporting goods to the market. They will definitely add the cost differential to their goods,” Balogun said.
At the Mile 12 market, a basket of tomatoes, which previously cost N6,000 now goes for N14, 000.
Tatashe and chilli pepper now cost N7,000 and N5, 500 respectively, as against the N4,500 and N5,000 they sold for two weeks ago.
However, onions which previously cost N10,500 now go for N8,700, while a 5-litre keg of palm oil sells for N1, 350 from N1,300.
At Daleko Market, Isolo, the price of a 50-kilogramme bag of rice ranged between N13, 000 and N15,000, from N10,500, depending on the brand.
The traders attributed the hike in the price of rice to short supply within and the importation of various brands.
A paint bucket measure of garri, however, remained at the same price of N370 at Oyingbo market.