Yam dealers in Bwari and Dutse markets of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) say the harvesting of new yams has forced the price of the tubers down in the market, making it more affordable to residents.
A cross section of the dealers made the observation during a market survey conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.
NAN reports that the prices of yam in both markets ranged from a negotiable price of N1000, to N1,200 for five tubers and N2, 000 to N2, 500 for 10 tubers, depending on the sizes of the tubers.
This is compared to the N3,000 for five tubers and between N4,500 to N5,000 before the harvest.
One of the traders, Mrs Roseline Audu said that the rainy season had made foodstuff, generally, available in the market because of a bumper harvest by some farmers.
According to her, yam harvested now cannot be stored beyond two to three months or it spoils, while adding that the farmers need the seedlings for the next planting season.
She said: ” Once you remove yam from the farm before they are fully developed or matured, you cannot store them for long.
” Besides, farmers need the seedlings for the next planting season, we have no option but to sell at whatever price offered to us.”
Another seller, Yaro Shehu said that in spite of the availability of the product, the old yams were still expensive as many people preferred to buy them because they were believed to be more suitable for consumption.
Shehu said that the price could also be reduced when sold in large quantity while adding that there were more customers compared to the previsions weeks.
He also said that most farmers are forced to sell the produce at cheap rates because they have problems that require money.
“We don’t make much profit these days. We just have to sell to solve our domestic and other problem and if we don’t harvest them now, we will not get the seeds for the dry season,” Shehu said.
Madam Felicia Nnamdi, a buyer, said that the price of yams had reduced and is more affordable than before, while adding that the produce has in no small measure reduced the burden of many families who relied on it for their various food needs.
Similarly, Mr Chris Elisha, another consumer, said he was happy that the new yam came at a time other food produce may have skyrocketed in the market beyond the reach of the common man.
He added that the new yam was cheaper and affordable.
He also said that consumers were yet to experience abundance of the produce because bigger harvests are yet to commence. (NAN)