WorldStage Newsonline—The Ramadan season when Muslims all over the world observe their fasting is here, but the market for fruits which they habitually take to break their fasts has become a no go area, no thanks to skyrocketing prices.
A survey by the WorldStage Newsonline showed that prices of fruits in Lagos area since the yearly Ramadan started a week ago has risen by about 100 per cent.
The survey revealed that fruits such as water melon, pineapple and pawpaw that were sold for N50 per slice had increased to N100, while orange which was selling for N20 per each is now selling between N30 and N35.
The survey also revealed that the prices of other foodstuff such as, cabbages, Irish potatoes and carrots remained stable.
At the Mile 12 Market, the story was not different as the medium-size water melon now sells for between N700 and N800 as against N300 and N400, while pineapple, depending on the size sells for between N200 and N300 as against N100 and N150. A small bowl of oranges goes for between N350 and N450 as against its former price of N200.
Some of the traders at the popular Ogba Retail Market said the price increase started with the seasonal shortfall in locally supplied fruits, adding that the coming of Ramadan had worsened the situation.
Umaru Turki, a trader at the market told the Worldstage Newsonline that fruits were being supplied from neighbouring countries such as Togo and Benin Republic because the season for some of the foods had passed.
He also noted that they were getting shortage of supply from the Northern Nigeria due to the Boko Haram crisis there.
Funmi Omotosho, another trader, attributed the scarcity and high price to the high cost of transportation and the insecurity problem in the North.
According to her, most of the transporters were no longer plying the Northern routes due to the Boko Haram crisis, adding that the few vehicles that travelled to the North were left with no choice than to increase transport fare.
She also said that it was normal for fruit prices to rise during the Ramadan, saying, this is when sellers make more profits because the Muslims consume more fruits.
Fatima Balogun, a customer at the market called on the government to find a lasting solution to the problem in the north, adding that is really bad that a country with the capacity to grow all kinds of fruits is busy importing them from other countries.
She also urged government at all level to invest more on agriculture and find a lasting solution to the insecurity problem in the North.