Tomato Price Crashes From N25,000 To N800 Per Basket - TheCable


IMAGE

A small basket of tomato, which
sold for N25,000 in May, is now
going for N800 in Kaduna. And,
no, it is not a joke.
It had been all anger and pain
for households as the price of tomatoes hit the roof across the
country as a result of scarcity
caused by tuta absoluta, also
known as ‘tomatoc ebola’.
This affected the crop in most
parts of the north-west, notably Kaduna, Jigawa, Katsina and
Kano states.
As a result, the basket prices
jumped from the range of N800-
N1200 to between N25,000 and
N40,000 at the height of the crisis.
At the Line Dogo (Rail Line)
tomatoes and vegetable market
in Kaduna on Saturday, it was a
beehive of activities.
Buyers could not believe their eyes as tomato prices had
crashed to a two-month low.
Abass Mai Tumatur, chairman of
the tomato sellers, told TheCable
it was a “pleasant relief” for
everyone as tomato is now available and in large quantities.
Mai Tumatur: Things are getting
better
“Tomato scarcity is nothing new,
but it was made worse this year
by the invasion of the moth,” he said.
He said the insects mutate more
during the dry season but don’t
survive during the rainy season.
“The rains coupled with the
efforts of government have helped tremendously in making
tomato available,” he said,
praising the government for the
“timely intervention”.
He assured the public that the
fear is gone now “and hopefully for good”.
Farmers were left stranded and
helpless as the moth ravaged
their farms and left destruction
across the farming community,
making a pot of soup as expensive as gold.
Hotels and restaurants, in
particular, faced a nightmare as
the crisis also shot up the price
of canned tomato paste.
Many were not aware of the reasons for the scarcity as frantic
efforts were made to to address
the situation.
Nasir el-Rufai, the Kaduna state
governor, declared a state of
emergency and dispatched officials to Kenya to find ways of
tackling the ravaging insects.
The cost of the destruction in the
state, according to el-Rufai, was
close to N1 billion.
Audu Ogbeh, minister of agriculture and rural
development, also
commissioned experts to find
solutions to the disease
outbreak “as soon as possible”.
The insect originated from South America around 1912 and has
spread to other parts of the
world.
Reports suggest the insect came
to Africa through Republic of
Niger.

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