Markets in Calabar, Cross River Capital, have once again been flooded with tomatoes from the northern part of the country, after many months of scarcity.
A market survey by NAN on Sunday showed that tomatoes from Zaria, Kaduna, Jos and Gboko were displayed in large quantities for sale in Main Market, Watt Market and others in the state capital. The reports showed that the price of the commodity has drastically gone down as a result of this development.
It will be recalled that the outbreak of a tomato disease in some northern states caused scarcity of the produce, especially in the southern part of the country, including Calabar. Recalls that during the period a basket of local tomatoes sold for between N25, 000 and N28, 000, depending on the quality.
However, the price has drastically reduced to between N12, 000 and N14, 000 per basket, depending on the type. A tomato seller, Mallam Ibrahim Musa, said, “the ones from Jos in Plateau and Gboko in Benue are higher in quality; many people prefer them to the ones got from Zaria. So the prices are different,’’ he said.
Tomatoes from the Republic of Cameroun which had dominated in the markets during the scarcity are also available. According to Ibrahim, the price of a basket of the Cameroun brand of tomatoes is between N5, 500 and N6000.
A resident of Calabar, Mrs Emem Uduak, described the availability of the local brand of tomatoes in the markets as a relief. “Honestly, it is a relief because I do not enjoy Cameroun tomatoes at all; I prefer tomatoes from the north and thank God they are now available in the market,’’ she said.