Sokoto Residents Happy As Tomato Prices Drop, Few days after Eid el fitri celebration, prices of tomatoes have dropped in Sokoto even as the merchants attributed the general high cost of tomatoes in the state to non -availability of tomato produced in the state.
From N22, 000 per basket, it plummeted to between N12, 000 andN13, 000 while pepper dropped from N27, 000 per basket to N22, 000 per basket. This, a cross section of residents spoken to, said it has brought some kind of reliefs for them.
Prior to the festival, tomato had been very expensive and out of reach of many.
The situation was attributed to insufficient production of the tomatoes variety as farmers in the state grow during the dry season while the one for rainy season is yet to commence.
This, merchants, said caused the price of tomatoes to skyrocket, especially during recent sallah festivity which fell in the period when the state use to experience its scarcity.
“We don’t have Sokoto tomato for now. We go to Jos and other places and the cost of transportation made the price to rise,” one of the farmers, Mallam Ali stated.
Alhaji Sani Dan Sakwatto, a large scale tomato farmer and merchant, said they had to source the commodity from outside the state and sometimes from neighbouring countries of Cameroun and Niger Republic.
“Sometimes before the supply arrive Sokoto, it becomes scarce and you don’t even see it on display,” he noted.
A day before Sallah, a basket of tomato sold for between N20,000 and N30,000, the same quantity that goes for N2,000-N3,000 during the period of plenty.
Our correspondent observed that most households resorted to using dried tatashe (big pepper) and canned tomato for Sallah.
At Iraki market along Mudagyel road, a tomato seller 25-year-old Badamasi said a little basket, that was N200-N300, sold at N900-N1,000 on sallah eve.
It was observed that most of the tomato on display looked green and unripe.
Disappointments were written on the faces of buyers with majority of them who came for fresh tomato ending up buying dried one at N400 for small measure and N800 for big measure.
A buyer Abdurrahman Alhaji said they always experience this type of tomato problem on Sallah eve but that this year’s situation was worse.
“We will make use of dried tomatoes which is more affordable,” he said.
However, with festivity over, Alhaji Sani Dansakkwato, said they have to bring down the price as demand had drastically reduced.