A fresh indication has emerged that insecurity and rise in transportation cost are responsible for the increase in prices of garri (cassava flakes), a Nigerian staple food in Nigeria.
A survey by iBrandTV correspondent on Saturday shows that prices of white and red garri had increased by about 90 per cent in the last two month.
Some garri sellers attributed the price hike scarcity of cassava due to off-season of the tuber.
However, a key stakeholder in the agricultural industry has stated that insecurity and hike in transportation are the two major indices responsible for the rise in prices of the commodity
According to the Managing Director Eco Farms, Mr Eco Onyeagu, “The transportation to Lagos and other states is high, and there is also the issue of insecurity in various farms, making it challenging for farmers to cultivate cassava.
“This two factors contributed to the increase in the commodity. In 2019, the prices were low. Also, for the red garri, there is also an increase in the cost of palm oil
“Farmers are afraid to go to farm in Iselukwu and Agbor in Delta State, Enugu, Calabar, amongst other states because of the activities of herdsmen.”
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Meanwhile, Mr. Ifeanyi Nwoke, a garri seller in Lagos told our correspondent that the price of a 4.5 litres bucket of white garri that was sold for N350 before, now cost N650.
“A 4.5 litres bucket of red garri goes for N900 as against the previous price of N550.
Another garri dealer at Garki market in Enugu, Mr Uche Igwesi disclosed that a bag of garri previously selling at N14,000 is now selling at N22,000.
“The prices of foodstuffs like garri are always high during planting season but during the harvest period, they become cheaper.
“Due to lack of facilities to preserve the produce after harvesting, many produce go bad, therefore, leading to prices hike,’’ Igwesi said.
Another seller at Mayor Market, who did not want to be identified, said that the increase in prices was because many people had left farming.
“When many farmers went into cassava farming in 2017, the price of garri dropped significantly,’’ she said.
A farmer, Mr Onwuka Ndubisi urged the public to embrace cassava farming so that there would be surplus of garri in the next harvest season.
“Surplus of cassava would definitely bring about crash in the price of garri if we all go into cassava farming, Egwu said.