Food Prices Crash in Taraba State After Bumper Harvest

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News in brief: Food prices in Taraba have significantly dropped following a bumper harvest due to consistent rainfall, but concerns are rising about potential price increases as middlemen buy crops in bulk.

Food prices in Taraba have crashed after a bumper harvest recorded in the state, according to a local news outlet report.

A 100kg bag of maize, which sold at ₦60,000 a few weeks prior, was selling at between ₦28,000 and ₦20,000. Similarly, a 100kg bag of dried cassava, which was earlier sold at ₦28,000, was being sold for ₦14,000. Prices of yam, millet, and rice have also dropped across the state.

The bumper harvest is being attributed to uninterrupted rainfall in the state. However, there are concerns that prices of foodstuff may soon go up again due to the activities of middlemen who are buying up the newly harvested crops in bulk.

Traders at Garba Chede market told Daily Trust newspaper that grain merchants have given their agents millions of naira to purchase grains. They have also built warehouses in all the grain markets in the state where they store grains.

Traders add that grain merchants make more money than the farmers. For example, they purchased bags of maize at the rate of ₦17,000 per bag during last year’s harvest and sold at ₦60,000 some months later.

The state government has been urged to intervene to ensure that farmers get good prices for their produce. It is not clear if the governor Agbu Kefas’ administration has plans to curb these brazen behaviour of middlemen.

Regardless, the drop in price is a breath of fresh for people living in the state. It could extend to other states in the north eastern parts of Nigeria as well and help them combat rising food inflation to some extent.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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