Daily Trust (Abuja)

25 May 2009

Nigeria: Tomatoes, Pepper Prices Skyrocket in Markets

The prices of tomatoes and pepper in Abuja markets have continued to increase astronomically, making women to devise other means to prepare stew in their homes.

A small bowl of tomatoes that used to sell at N70 at Nyanya and Karu markets, now sells at N150. Our reporter gathered from women buyers at both markets that they now buy less tomatoes and more 'tattase' to make their stew sweet with colour.

"I normally buy N150 tomatoes, N10 onions with N20 pepper and N100 tattase to make stew, which is as normal as buying N300 tomatoes to prepare the same stew," Patricia, a housewife said.

Aisha, a buyer said such combination is not suitable for her as her family likes to have a lot of tomatoes in their stew.

"This time is difficult for us as we spend more on tomatoes because my family depends on stew and tomatoes source almost every day," she added.

According to her, there must be a market price control board in Abuja to prevent marketers from increasing their products arbitrarily.

A tomatoes seller, Mrs Asuquo, blamed the high cost of tomatoes and pepper on the raining season.

She said the crops germination are poor during rainy season and advised government to encourage farmers to cultivate the habit of storing their products for unforeseen situations.

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