By Adeshola Fashola
Prices of some soup ingredients have increased by an average of 65 per cent in some markets in Lagos, the News Agency of Nigeria reports. A market survey by NAN in Lagos on Monday revealed that prices of the ingredients have gone up astronomically since rain started.
Traders at Mushin, Mile 12, Ipaja and Ishaga markets said they raised the prices of the ingredients because of limited supply and higher cost of transportation. At Mile 12 market, a big basket of tomatoes now sells for N13, 000 from the old price of N9, 000.
The same bag of tomato sells for between N12, 000 and N17, 000 at markets in Mushin, Ipaja and Ishaga. The medium-size basket of pepper goes for between N6, 000 and N6, 500 in all the markets against the old price of N5, 000. The price of onion is, however, relatively stable in all the markets.
The traders described the current high prices of tomatoes and pepper as “beyond imagination”.
Mrs. Nike Ayansanwo, leader of tomatoes sellers at Ipaja market, said the security problem in some states in the north had affected the supply of tomatoes and pepper. She said the security issues were being compounded by deteriorating roads across the nation and high cost of transportation. Mrs. Eniola Bakare, a tomato seller, said that the current price of tomatoes was higher that what obtained throughout 2011.
Bakare said also that farmers attributed the increase to heavy rainfall and flooding of tomato farms. Busola Shodiya, another seller, said that the high prices had made some customers to avoid the ingredients.
“People who were buying N500 worth of tomatoes now pay N700. There is nothing we can do; it’s because of the heavy rain,” Shodiya said.
Mrs. Olamide Koku, a customer, said she now depends on tin tomatoes to support her cooking.
“I no longer use fresh tomatoes, I buy some pepper and then buy tin tomatoes to make soup. This is alright by me,”: Koku said.