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Prices of tomatoes, pepper skyrocket in Enugu

The prices of tomatoes and pepper have increased considerably in major markets in Enugu metropolis, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

A market survey conducted by NAN on Saturday reveals that prices of both commodities have increased when compared to some months back.

The price of a big basket of tomatoes sells for between N15, 000 and N16, 500 as against N7, 000 and N8, 000 depending on the species as there are presently two species in the market.

The price of small basket of tomatoes cost between N10, 000 and N12, 000.

A tomatoes seller at Akwata Market, Mrs Oby Ude, attributed the increase in price of tomatoes to its planting season.

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“The UTC specie that comes from Jos is gradually becoming scarce in the market because this is its planting period,’’ Ude said.

According to her, some months back, the UTC specie was sold for between N5,000 and N7,500; while the other specie from Benue was sold for between N4,500 and N6,000.

Mrs Tina Aku, another tomato trader at Garki market, said that the price of tomatoes would further increase as its season of abundance is gradually disappearing.

Mrs Chioma Ekeoma, a customer, who came to buy tomatoes at Mayor Market, explained that the price of tomatoes tend to increase towards the month of May.

Ekeoma urged government to build storage facilities for traders so that perishable items such as tomatoes, pepper and vegetables could be preserved to be available to customers all year round.

Meanwhile, NAN observed that the price of red pepper have slightly increased as a bag of medium size pepper, which was sold for between N7, 000 and N8, 000 is being sold for between N10, 500 and N11, 000.

A pepper seller at Akwata market, Miss Chika Onyia, said that the increase in the price of pepper is due to its planting season.

“With the increase in the price of pepper, it is now sold for between N10,500 and N11,000 due to scarcity of species of both yellow and red pepper in Enugu,’’ Onyia said.

She said the specie of red pepper called ‘Tattashe’ is also not available in the markets currently as it was some months back.

“A five litre paint container of tattashe pepper is sold for N1, 400 as against N1, 000 previously,’’ she said.(NAN)