The prices of tomatoes have gone up by eight-three per cent in Kano and Zaria, a market survey by NAN has shown.
A seller in one of the markets in FCT, Mr Yinusa Isa, said that between April and May, most tomato farmers from Kano and Zaria complained of the tuta absoluta pest attacks.
Isa said that the same scarcity of fresh tomatoes occurred within the same period in 2016, and appealed to government intervene to save the situation.
He said that between February and March, a big basket of tomatoes which cost N3,000 to N3,500 now cost N15,000 to N20,000.
“One waste bin basket measure was sold for N500 but it is currently being sold at N2,000,” he said.
Another trader, Garba Ibrahim, told NAN that the reason why tomato farms were dying in the north was because of the acidity in rain water.
“Normally, the tomato plants are watered with water water, but as soon as the rains come, the plants begin to die because of too much acid in the rain water.
“The tomatoes I have now for sale are from Niger Republic, although we have tomatoes available in Jos, but that is the one of the places we currently have good tomatoes in Nigeria,” he said.
Mrs Zainab Dogo, a buyer at Dutse market, who had been buying in the same market for over three decades, said that she had never bought tomatoes for this much until recently.
“I used to buy a basket of tomatoes at N8,500, but now it is being sold for N20, 000 at the popular Dei-Dei market which is one of the cheapest food markets in Abuja.
“The sellers are saying that they do not have enough tomatoes to sell to their customers while some are complaining about rain water being acidic on tomatoes,” she said.
Nigerian Bulletin recall that just the same time last year, the price of tomatoes spiked up by 1,000 per cen nationwide which was attributed to a disease called tuta absoluta pest.