June 17, 2024

Insecurity responsible for high cost of tomato, pepper – Mile 12 Market Chair

Mile 12 Market

File: Tomato sellers at Mile 12 market

The Chairman of the Mile 12 International Market in Lagos State Shehu Usman Jubrin said insecurity was responsible for the recent high cost of tomato, pepper, and other perishable items in the country.

Jubrin disclosed this in an interview on  Channels Television on Monday.

Recall that the price of pepper has also jumped, raising concerns among Nigerians.

A small basket of tomatoes sells for about N35,000 at the market.

Speaking  on the development, Jubrin said, “The bone of contention, the real fact is just insecurity. Let me tell you, that’s the truth. And there’s absolutely nothing the country will do.

“This price hike will continue. They are still buying tomato, at the rate of N1,000 for three pieces.

“Ninety-nine per cent of the people in IDP camps are farmers. They don’t know anything apart from farming – both male and female. The people who are on the farm and are farming with one eye closed are just about 1,500 out of like 5,000 farmers we have across the whole country.”

According to him, some of the farmers negotiate with and pay bandits before they can go to their farms to harvest the products.

He further said, “In those places where you are getting all these items, there are negotiations between them and the bandits who ask them, ‘How much are you going to pay me to harvest and bring to the market?

“So, for as long as those people are in IDP camps, the country will continue to be in trouble in terms of food items.”

He also linked it to other factors including supply shortage from the northern part of Nigeria to the south.

“Let me just talk about tomatoes first. From November, December, January, February, March, and April, up to May, you have tomatoes from the North.

“You have danja, danjumi, kadawa, Kano and then Katsina states. This is the off-season now, so we expect tomatoes from Ilaro, Ogbomosho, Abeokuta, and Osun to come to Lagos, you know, and also part of Cameroon. That is a kind of substitute for the northern one.

“But unfortunately, it’s late: the one from Cameroon, the one from Abeokuta and Ogbomosho. And as we approach the festive period, tomatoes will be expensive.

The northern tomatoes are finished and we don’t have substitutes from the south.”

He also blamed the situation on pests, saying the diseases have led to low yields.