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New yams flood Onitsha markets

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Yam Farmers

New yams are beginning to flood markets in Onitsha, the commercial city of Anambra.

A survey by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday, showed that farmers from agrarian communities such as Anam and Ogbaru brought their yam to produce to Marine Market, Onitsha, to sell to the public.

Also read: COVID-19: Abia Govt approves extension of market days, opening hours

NAN reports that the farmers, who were seen unloading the tubers from their canoes, actually started arriving on July 31.

The yams were stacked in heaps and arranged in different sizes.

A Farmer, Mr Joseph Ibemenam, said that yams from Anam had not grown well this year, noting that the challenges could be blamed on effects of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.

Ibemenam lamented that they had just finished planting the yam seedlings when the pandemic came and the subsequent lockdown disrupted farming practices.

“We were not able to provide the fertilisers and the herbicides that ought to help to boost the crop yield.

“The rains and sun, however, did help in improving the yield,” he said.

Another Farmer, Mrs Ngozi Obeta from Ogbaru, who also came to sell her produce, said that her tubers did well this year because of the fertility of their land.

“You can see that the tubers from Ogbaru performed better than those from Anam,” she said.

A Yam Dealer, Miss Rosemary Iwuoba, said that the prices of yams were good for now since the tubers were still being harvested.

Mrs Uche Ononye, a buyer, expressed delight at the sight of the new yams, noting that their presence would force down the price of yams in the market.

“Since coming off the new yams into the market, the prices of average old yam tubers have gone down.

“Old yams, which sold at N800, now sell between N500 and N600 while the new yams are sold between N300 and N600, depending on the size.

“Yam is now more affordable now that the rainy season has brought in much fresh food; an indication that farmers experienced bumper harvests in spite of COVID-19,” she said.

Other fresh produce largely seen in the markets included groundnuts, potatoes, garden eggs and rice.

Vanguard News

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