By Mike Adeyemi
Barely three months after a bumper harvest at end of this year’s farming season, foodstuffs prices remain beyond the reach of many household owners in Kwara State.
The trend of prices of foodstuffs this year defied decades-long tradition that at harvest period, prices of grains in the market fall to the level of all income earners.
A trader, Saka Abass, 56, a husband of two and father of 6, told National Pilot he can no longer afford to feed his family owing to the high prices of foodstuffs in the market, something that exposed his household to the whip of hunger.
“I can’t do anything now. N1000 cannot suffice to feed my family now and as I talk to you, I don’t have N200. It is unbearable. As a trader, what else can you do,” Abass queried.
He added that the new year had usually been a price relief period to low income earners, but things have remain at high price in the market.
“We normally get relief in the prices of foodstuffs by the end of each farming season like this because of the increased availability of farm products in the markets but this year it is indifferent – it is already January now but prices remain as high as never before.”
He noted that all farm stuff and other things in the market either doubled or tripled it’s last year prices.
Abass noted that rice, maize and other staples which used to be routine dishes for many households now turned into luxuries only a few can make them available on the dining table of their families.
“Comparatively, last year, a major of rice sold at N200 to N250 while maize was N100 to N150 by January. However, around the same time this year, rice goes for over N500 to a major while maize sold at N250 respectively.”
He however called on individuals to avoid hoarding the products just to meet self-centred credulous ends at the expense of the happiness of the majority of poor families in the state and country as a whole.