Harvest: Hike In Prices of Grains Discomfort Bauchi Dealers

As this year’s farming season closes and farmers begin to harvest yields, prices of grains in Bauchi markets remain high causing low sales for dealers, a WikkiTimes analysis has shown. 

The dealers do not do brisk business due to a marked low patronage as poor families who cannot afford any of the commonly produced grains, due to low purchasing power and hike in prices, go for alternative staples in a glaring last-ditch effort to avert going to bed with empty bellies.

Previously, during the harvest period, which traditionally begins at the end of September through to December, prices of grains – maize, rice, millet, corn and other range of staples- fell due to mass harvest but this established trend is no longer this year.

Since 2016, inflation in Nigeria has remained at double digits and it takes a toll on families, households and businesses. The situation is more complicated as the Federal Government removed the subsidy on petrol in May this year. 

For instance, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS),  headline inflation rose from 18.60 percent in 2022 to 4.19 percent in 2023. 

Mal Lawal Mai Masara, a dealer of Maize based in Zango area market, told Wikkitimes that price hikes for grains deny him an opportunity to make huge sales and thus maximise profits.

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He blamed the removal of fuel subsidy, which affected the cost of transporting commodities from supply sources to the market and therefore, resulted in the recent poor business performance for dealers. 

“In the previous harvest periods, we used to sell a measure of rice between N650 to N700; beans at the rate of N500 and millet sells for an amount between N300 to N400 but now prices doubled.

“Similarly, we used to buy a bag of maize at the wholesale rate of N17,000-N18,000 while now it sells at  N60,000-N63,000” He added

Lawal lamented customers increasingly become unable to afford powder maize, instead, they oftentimes go for Soya Beans which is cheaper than maize.

Abubakar Mai Gero, who has been in the business for nearly 20 years, recalls that he had never seen prices of grains shut up at harvest periods as high as this year.

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He expressed fear that if the situation continues like this, many dealers will be out of business due to low capital, growing inflation and low sales being recorded. 

“I Have been in this business for more than 20 years and is about to make a lot of people jobless because there is low patronage and frightening inflation. These forces, combined, push potential customers away despite the glaring need for the commodities,” he explained.

Abubakar Abdullahi, the Chairman of the Zango area Marketers Association, decried that people are feeling the hardship of the economy which is also an ill wind to marketers as well.

He said at the moment, a measure of local rice goes for N1,300 and N1,400; maise N1,000. “There was not any time in history when prices of grains reached this peak,” he insisted.

Abdullahi called on the government to release more grains stocked in official stores to help bring down prices.


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