FCT Residents Struggle as Tomato Prices Remain High

Taiwo Ajayi
3 Min Read
The prices of tomatoes and other perishable goods in markets across the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have continued to rise, despite the items being in season. There has been little to no reduction in the costs of these items.

Reporters visited Dei-dei, Bwari, and Gwagwalada markets in Abuja, where they observed that prices remain high. In Dei-dei market, for example, a big basket of tomatoes, which previously sold for N20,000 to N22,000 in January, now sells for N18,000 to N19,000. Similarly, a dustbin basket of pepper, which was sold between N3,000 to N4,000, has remained unchanged.

In Bwari market, the price of tomatoes has increased, with a big basket now selling for N24,000 to N25,000, up from N22,000 to N23,000. The price of pepper has remained stable since January, with a small bowl still going for N700 to N800.

At Gwagwalada market, the price of a basket of tomatoes fluctuates between N35,000 to N30,000. Factors contributing to the price fluctuations, according to traders, include the cost of transportation and other logistics.

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Malam Shuaibu Aliyu, a trader at Gwagwalada market, explained: “The variation in prices also depends on market forces, from the chain of production to the market. The price can also increase by tomorrow or next week.”

Residents have expressed concern over the high cost of perishables, noting that tomatoes were traditionally cheap to buy from December until the start of the rainy season in March. However, the current prices have made it difficult for many to afford these essential food items.

Mrs. Hannatu Musa, a public servant in Bwari, lamented the high cost of perishables, saying that she used to buy tomatoes in bulk when they were cheaper and store them, but now finds it challenging to do so due to the high prices.

Another resident, Mrs. Obiageli Godswill, attributed the high prices to the Ramadan season and preparations for Easter and Sallah. She called on the government to implement policies that would reduce the cost of food and make them more affordable to the average Nigerian.

The increase in prices of tomatoes and other perishables in the FCT markets highlights the challenges faced by consumers in accessing affordable food items, despite their seasonal availability.

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