By Sunny A Ijomah
Residents and foodstuff dealers in Awka and its environs are experiencing difficult times as the rumoured restriction on food supply to Southern Nigeria by Northern traders hits Anambra State.
Our correspondent observation during visits to Eke Awka Market, Akwata Market, Garki Market, Amansea, saw both traders and buyers lamenting on the skyrocketed prices of fresh food and animals.
Our correspondent reports that at the busy Garki Market, Amansea and Akwata Markets, it was observed that almost all the tables in the markets were empty, and few sellers in the markets sale way above the original prices.
At Eke-Awka market, our correspondent discovered that a basket of Tomatoes sold at three thousand naira as at last week is now twenty-five thousand naira, and basket of pepper sold for four thousand naira last week is presently fifteen thousand naira, bag of onion is now thirty-two thousand naira as against the fifteen thousand naira sold last week.
Cattle sold for hundred thousand naira last week is now three hundred thousand, and the ones sold for two hundred thousand naira is now five hundred thousand naira, while tubbers of yam sold for six hundred naira is now eight hundred and above.
Some traders at Eke-Awka market who deal on vegetables and yam tubers, including Mrs. Ifeyinwa Amavuluozor, and Mrs. Joy Onyebuchi-Obi who regretted that the northern traders’ strike could cause such hardship on the southerners, suggested that governments in the region should support famers with special funds and permanently restrain herdsmen from entering the region to ensure food sufficiency and security.
Meat sellers at Akwata abattoir, including Mr. Sampson Igwe and Mr. Cosmas Nwali, as well as some of their customers, including Lady Stellamaris Etokwudo, and Mrs. Elizabeth Chinweze a food vendor, called on the federal government to take urgent action on the issue to save the citizens from the untold hardship.
For a meat seller at Amansea abattoir, Mr. Shadrach Nwankwo, and a buyer at Eke-Awka market, Mr John Umeadi, the southerners will survive without the northerners if they will venture into livestock farming and large cultivation of agricultural products, especially those delicacies supplied from the North.
Recall that last week, Northern traders alongside some Northern Groups imposed restrictions on supply of foods and cattle to southern part of the country as a result of farmers-herdsmen crisis across some Southern States of the country.