Nigeria: Drastic drop in tomato prices

Tomato prices in Nigeria have dropped sharply following rainfall across the tomato-producing areas of the north. A basket of tomatoes that sold for for 42,000 naira in May now sells for 800 naira in the northern city of Kaduna.

This comes months after an outbreak of a disease known as tomato blight led to scarcity of the staple fruit in the country. The shortage was described as the worst tomato scarcity the country has ever gone through. Moths had invaded many farms wiping out about 80% of tomato farms in the country.

But the insects do not survive during the rainy season, and so production has now risen again. In May, Kaduna declared an emergency in the tomato sector and dispatched experts to find ways of getting rid of the pest which had infected the tomato crop.

Tomato is an essential ingredient in many meals, but the tomato scarcity led to the price increasing by nearly 400% in the last three months, making the product inaccessible to many people.

Over 200 farmers were affected with loses put at over N1billion.

(1 Nigerian Naira=0.0031USD)


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