By Chinonso Alozie
Owerri—The prices of food stuffs in Imo State have continued to sower , with rice selling between N22,000 and N24,000.
A survey conducted by Vanguard yesterday in the two major markets in the Owerri metropolis, Ekeukwu and Relief markets revealed that previously, a cup of rice which cost N50 and a paint bucket sold between N700 and N800 now sell for N120 and N1,800 respectively.
As of two months ago, a cup of garri which was as low as N25 now goes for N60 while a half paint of garri went up from N350 to N600 and N650. A cup of beans which earlier cost N40 increased between N70 and N80 and a measure now sells for N1,200 as against N600 and N700.
Meanwhile, a basket of tomatoes, as of two months ago said to have cost between N18,000 and N22,00, however, dropped to between 9,000 and 11,000 due to the effect of high season. But a tin of tomato which cost N30 went up to N50. A tomato seller, Blessing Amadi said: “The tomato that come from the north is not enough for us here. May be by December this year, a tin of tomato will cost N80 since we are not producing the tomato in the southeast and the government has closed the borders for importation.”
Also, a bottle of groundnut oil which sold at N200 now sells between N350 and N400. While a cup of red oil increased from N30 and N50 to between N50 and N100.
Previously a bottle of red oil which cost N200 now sells N450 and N500, while a twenty litre of red oil earlier sold between N5,000 and 6,000 skyrocketed to10,000 and 10,500.
A palm oil dealer, Uchenna Onwujuru, regretted that Imo State should have been an exporter of red oil if the palm plantation in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area, was given full attention, a situation, he also said would have crashed down the price as palm oil producing state.
“ I wonder why the government is not giving the required attention to this palm plantation. It is going to sustain us in this economic hardship” he said.