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Farming and Livestock

Essential Food Items Price Increase

11 November 2020
Reading time: 3 minutes

Onions are among the most commonly used vegetables in Nigeria, recent price increases in the northeast are beginning to put them out of range for many.

RNI’s Fatima Grema Modu visited Gomburu market of Maiduguri Borno State to confirm why the price has skyrocketed across the country.

Ahmad Wasili, who trades the commodity, said the main reason behind the increase is due to its scarcity within Borno State.

“The increase has affected not only the buyers but also the sellers. What we normally sell for 200 Naira has now become 500 Naira and a whole bag of fresh onions is now 30,000 Naira . Previously it cost 4,000, 5,000 or 6,000 Naira”, said Ahmad.

He further explained that, Borno is among the major producers of onions in Nigeria. The insurgency means that production has dropped.

In order to find a suitable solution to the issue Ahmad urged the Federal Government to intervene by tackling the issue of insecurity that is battering Borno state. He also suggested that making available improved types of manure for farming would help.

Abba Modu Yerwama, a driver who has imported and exported onions within and outside Borno State for twenty years said that the challenges he goes through during the process these days is getting out of hand.

Lack of good roads combined with the Boko Haram threat while importing the onions from other states to Borno is one of the biggest challenges he faces as a driver. If it wasn’t for the insecurity that disturbs farmlands in Borno State, these challenges would not have arisen, he said.

Abba also explained that a bag of stored onions is now 50,000 Naira, while fresh ones are sold for 30,000. This change has greatly affected the wholesalers, retailers and consumers.

He finally called on government to look into this issue swiftly by providing enough security to farmlands within Borno State and beyond.

RNI’s reporter also interacted with some consumers at the market; Falmata Abatcha said that as a wife and mother this is something worrisome for her and others who usually buy their soup ingredients daily. 100 Naira worth of onion is no longer be enough to cook a meal for her family due to the hike in price, she lamented.

Another IDP who came to the market to buy onions said that at her home town in Monguno, she produces onions and even gives them away to other people but now it’s not possible for her to do so due to the insurgency. They both prayed for the restoration of peace in Borno State and Nigeria at large

As medical experts confirmed, onions contain antioxidants and compounds that fight inflammation, decrease triglycerides and reduces cholesterol level in human body when used, all of which may lower heart disease, help in reduction of high blood pressure and also protect blood clots.

About the author

Elvis Mugisha