In Katsina State, farmers and dealers in beans have been hit by a continuous drop in price at various markets.
The farmers are lamenting that based on the prevailing market price, they are not likely to recover the money they invested in cultivating the commodity.
Similarly, dealers and merchants who have been stockpiling the produce in anticipation of a rise in its price are now losing out as it has continued to drop, falling far below what it cost them to buy it.
One of the farmers in Sabuwa Local Gocernment Area, Yusuf Mansur, said farmers suffered the same problem last year because of the massive cultivation of the crop.
“Some years back, beans production was a goldmine to farmers who could endure its cost and hardship. With the recent agricultural revolution, almost every farmer wants to exploit the fortunes in its production. That is how it is now being produced in a large scale, forcing its market price to go down,’’ Mansur said.
According to him, a bag of beans was sold between N18,000 and N20,000 last year before it sharply drop to N10,000 and N12,000, thereby subjecting many dealers to huge losses in capital.
“Five years back, a 100kg bag of beans was sold between N20,000 and N30,000. That was what prompted its hoarding by businessmen. This year, the price started from N16,000, but because it was produced in a large scale, the price plummeted to N8,000 and N10,000 within a short time,” he added.
Another farmer from Dandume Local Government Area, Nasiru Sani, said what prompted high yield of the commodity this year was availability and low price of pesticides, as well as abundant rainfall.
“The culture of applying pesticides and herbicides has tremendously improved among farmers. Before now, only a few cared to apply pesticides in their beans farms, but now, we have varieties of such chemicals and at affordable prices.
“This, among other things, has augmented the yield of the crop generally and attracted many people to invest in its production; hence its large scale production and high yield,’’ Sani said.
He added that beans would not be as costly as it was five years ago because of how farmers are fast imbibing modern ways of crop production.
Abdullahi Sabo, a beans merchant, said the market glut of the commodity was occasioned by land border closure by the Federal Government, which has made it almost impossible to export the produce to neighbouring countries.
“One of the reasons the price of beans keeps dropping is the border closure, which has hampered exportation to our neighbouring countries. How would the price rise when the only choice we have is to eat all we produced as far as beans is concerned? It hardly undergoes industrial processes like maize, sorghum or soybeans; therefore, its demand remains mainly for local consumption at various homes,’’ Sabo said.
He added that last year, many merchants stocked the commodity in their warehouses, waiting for the price to appreciate.
“Those that bought it between N18,000 and N20,000 last year still have it in stock. They have no choice than to re-fumigate it and wait for its price to appreciate, otherwise they will lose millions of naira,’’ he said.
Sabo further lamented that he lost over N5million, having stockpiled beans last year; hence his decision not to purchase the commodity this year.
“Instead of beans this year, I bought chili pepper; and from all indications, it has bright prospects, so we are gearing up for good returns,’’ he added.