Low mechanisation in the agriculture sector as well as weak local currency to support importation have triggered over 70 per cent hike in the price of beans across the country, a LEADERSHIP Weekend investigation has revealed.
Across major markets in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Abuja among other parts of the country, the price of beans has increased astronomically in the last few months.
findings from the report revealed that a small bag of honey and drum beans, previously sold at N7,500 is now N45,000 while the big bag earlier sold at N15,000 hovers between N90,000 and N100,000.
Similarly, a derica (big tomato tin) of beans sold earlier in the year at N200 now goes for N700.
Although, insecurity contributed to shortage of beans which triggered the price, low mechanisation and weak local currency were also identified as key determinants of the price surge.
Speaking on this development, the president, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Arch. Kabir Ibrahim, attributed it to lack of mechanisation to enhance production and weak local currency to support importation.
The report quoted Ibrahim to have said that the demand gap is so huge, the cost had continued to rise as insecurity has forced farmers out of their farms.
According to the Ibrahim, there is local demand shortfall of about 500,000 metric tons.
He said, local demand of beans is over 1 million metric tons and local farmers cannot meet half of this demand.
Ibrahim, however, stated that with the new genetically modified variety, Nigeria would now have the chance and opportunity to optimise production.
Reports further say it is left to farmers to embrace this new variety and ignore the argument being speculated about its health implications, according to Ibrahim.
The AFAN President challenged those who make such claims to come up with any scientific proof of its health challenges.
Ibrahim, in his argument, said farmers should take up the challenge and move into commercial production of this new genetically manufactured beans.
The AFAN president said there was no basis for the strong resistance and opposition to accept the beans, adding that it had contributed to the shortages being experienced today.
Meanwhile, further enquiry around some markets to about the current price of beans revealed found Mummy Chiamaka who sells Akara in front of Oja retail market in Jakande Estate, Isolo lamenting the sudden hike in the price of beans.
She complained that a small bucket of beans that used to be sold for N2,500 to N2,700 is now selling at N3,700 to N4,000, adding that she now makes lesser quantity and her Akara is now being sold at a small pair for N50 as against three for the same amount.
Pius Alade, a consumer, was reported to lament that a big bag of beans is now being sold for N100,000, ‘even though, I am not buying a bag, but it falls back to us the final consumer.’
According to Iyaloja, FAAN market, Ikeja, Afusat Shehu, “I don’t joke with beans now because a small bag of beans is now sold for 48,000 and the small quantity of derica is now N700. Before now, it is sold for N200 even at the pick of corona virus lockdown, it was still N150 and we had partial lockdown it was sold for N200, and from then on it kept increasing till now that is sold for N700