House repairs, marriage ceremonies and Christmas have triggered huge supply of farm produce to Katsina markets, a situation that has resulted to a glut of maize and beans in the last one week.
In the last raining season, many of the farmers lost either their entire houses or were partially destroyed by rainstorm, and they are now making use of proceeds from their farming to rebuild them.
Malam Umar Aminu, a farmer in Kankara LGA, said besides houses being repaired, it is the age-long tradition of the people to marry off their children immediately after the harvest period.
“Harvest period is the only period every peasant farmer is targeting to settle his debts, marry off his daughters and, this year to rebuild our damaged houses. That is why the huge supply and low prices of farm produce in our markets especially with the massive cultivation of maize, rice and beans this year,” said Umar Aminu.
He added that the Christmas celebration has also seen Christian farmers selling their farm produce for the celebration.
Merchants were seen transporting commodities like rice, beans and tomato to Onitsha, Warri, Port Hacourt, Lagos and Ibadan.
This reporter went round Kafur, Bakori, Funtua, and Sheme markets where he discovered that the influx of farm produce has significantly affected their prices, while high demand for local rice has jacked up its price from N24,000 to N27,000 per 100kg.
A big basket of tomato has risen to N6,000 from N4,000 while the price of 100kg bag of maize has dropped to N7,500 from N8,000; the same with price of sorghum.
Similarly, the price of beans has dropped to between N17,500 and N18,500 depending on its quality, as against N20,000 it was sold three weeks ago.
Ibrahim Adamu, a grains dealer at Funtua market, said dealers were taking advantage of the period to hoard sorghum and beans.
“Because of its high demand, beans has a promising prospect in the next few months that is why some of us are taking advantage of this period to stockpile it. Sorghum too has a bright future because of its industrial demand and it was not produced much compared to the last two years,” he said.
Adamu added that it was the forces of demand and supply that made the price of maize to fluctuate from N8,000 to N7,500 as it was massively produced by the farmers.