As farmers began crop harvest, prices of local rice has dropped by about 25 per cent in Maiduguri, Borno, and newsmen report.
A check by newsmen at Gamboru and Customs Area Markets in Maiduguri indicated that prices of the commodity had dropped in the past two months since the beginning of crop harvest by farmers.
Newsmen report that rice farmers had recorded bumper harvests this cropping season, forcing the prices of the staple food crushing.
A 50kg bag of local rice goes for between N6,500 and N7,200 as against the old price of N9,000, while a measure of the produce is sold at N380.
The development has affected the price of refined rice which also declined.
A 50kg bag is being sold at between N15,000 and N16,500 from the old price of N17,500.
A measure of the commodity now go for N900 as against N1,050, depending on its quality.
Prices of other produce had also dropped significantly in the past months as a measure of maize is sold at N280, beans N450 and millet N350, as against the previous prices of N420, N600 and N500, respectively.
Similarly, a measure of groundnut oil i sold at N280 as against N500.
Traders at the markets attributed the drop in prices to improvement in the supply of food commodities to the markets.
Malam Ali Muhammad, a rice dealer, said that prices of rice were falling on daily basis in view of the fresh supplies from the farms.
Muhammad also attributed the situation to improvement in the supply of local produce to the market, adding that the development is encouraging.
“There is a significant increase in the number of farmers who cultivated rice and other produce this cropping season.
“Prices will further go down as supply improves,’’ he said.
Muhammad said that rice dealers were now enjoying appreciable patronage.
Also commenting, Ya-Ana Yusuf, a peanut grower, said that the massive mobilisation of farmers in liberated communities had encouraged production and forced grain prices down in the state.
Malam Muhammad Dungus, a resident, expressed joy over the development, and urged traders to further reduce their prices.
Newsmen report that the Federal Government in collaboration with Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) had distributed fertilisers, seeds and inputs to over 1.1 million farmers in the Northeast this cropping season.
More than 5,000 rice farmers were also supported by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the Anchor Borrowers Scheme in Borno.