Traders of daily consumable commodities at the popular Marian market, Calabar Cross River State have lamented over the increased hike in prices of food items which has affected their business.
A visit to the markets shows that some of these traders have little or longer patronage as a result of the outrageous cost of commodities.
A trader identified as Mrs. Grace Okon who deals in Fresh pepper tomatoes, said the harsh increase in the cost of Fresh pepper and tomatoes had affected her business capital as sales were low, stating that she hardly made a profit after trading.
She stated that “A basket of fresh pepper and tomatoes which usually was bought at a fair price of NGN 7,000 to NGN 8,000 was now increased to a frivolous price of NGN30,000 per basket. At times when I try to sell these goods in a reasonable or fair quantity to customers, I end up making a loss. I do sell this basket of fresh pepper and tomatoes and can’t even realize the initial 30,000 Naira capital.
“There is nothing to show for our effort in terms of expected gains or profit. We are only praying that our labor should not be in vain at the close of trading activities,” she added.
Another trader, Mrs. Ada who deals in Rice and other food Item complained how the bag of Nigerian-made rice goes for #22,500 as against the usual price in the past which was sold between #12,000 to 15,000 Naira.
She said, “People who usually prefer the Foreign produced Rice may not be able to make choices talking of affording this rice as a cup goes for 200 Naira while a bag of it is sold between 31-35,000 Naira. Not to mention the scarcity of several other farm items like Palm oil, which a bottle of it goes for a whooping and shocking price of #900 Naira at the moment.”
Mrs. Akaette who sells Palm oil also explained how expensive these farm products have become, buying from farmers to sell to their various potential wholesales or retail customers.
She added that “Everyone who sells perishable goods like Fresh pepper, tomatoes, okro, onions and lots more suffer terrible losses and no matter how little a quantity we manage to purchase, sometimes it is even difficult to realize our capital not to talk of making more profits on them.”
Mr. Lawrence who deals with provisions also lamented how a carton of Indomitable which was sold at 1,500 Naira is now sold at 7,000 Naira and that Milk, Milo, and Sugar have equally gotten expensive. “It is high time something is done to save us all from this terrible situation. We are appealing to the Federal Government to improve the agricultural sector and boost the economy as well as reduce the price of food items. He added.