Lettuce, a once affordable vegetable is now one of the most expensive in Abuja markets. The recent trend has been blamed on lack of fertiliser and poor storage of the perishable plant.
Our reporters, who were at Utako and Kubwa markets, spoke with some vegetable sellers to ascertain the cause of the recent hike in the price of the staple vegetable.
Alhaji Ibrahim Babale, a vegetable seller at Utako market, lamented the scarcity and high price of lettuce now.
He said: “We used to buy a bundle for N1,200 – N1,500 but now we buy it for N2,500.”
He noted that the problem starts from the farm where farmers are faced with the problem of insects attacking their fields and the difficulty in getting insecticides for effective pest control.
At Kubwa market, a vegetable seller said during the lettuce harvest period, prices go down, adding that due to transportation, some of the produce gets bad before getting to the market resulting in price hike.
Mrs. Uche, a customer said, “Government should please be fast with their plan of adjusting the agricultural sector and provide good roads to ensure timely transportation of farm produce before they perish to prevent hunger in the country.”
Other customers seen shopping complained about how the little money cannot get for them the lettuce they need, unlike before when it was cheap.
Both sellers and buyers alike urged government to come to their aid to provide fertilisers and insecticide to the farmers in other to boost lettuce production.