Owing to the onset of its season of abundance, prices of plantain which soared significantly since early this year finally came down within the review week.
The fall in the prices of the commodity was evident in most of the markets visited of which many of the traders interviewed ascribed it to improved supply from its main sources such as Benin, Ondo and Ijebu Waterside.
The development was cheering news especially for diabetic patients and all lovers of the commodity, believing that the value of their purchasing power will now reflect in their procurements.
The same goes for traders, enabling majority of them to increase their normal purchases as they enjoyed high level of patronage from consumers due to reduction in the prices of the commodity.
During the week, findings from a market survey by the Business and Market Intelligence Unit of DAILY INDEPENDENT revealed that prices of plantain declined by over 20 per cent in most of the markets visited between March and September 27, 2018.
On-season effect was mostly mentioned as the main reason for the drop by a higher proportion of traders conversed with.
Checks at the Ogbeogologo and Igbudu markets, Delta State, showed that prices of the commodity were at declining trend, especially, with the prices of a big bunch of plantain currently ranging from N1,500 and N1,700 as against between N2,000 and N2,200 sold initially.
Similarly, that of the small bunch fell to between N500 and N700 from N1,000 sold previously.
Madam Egoh Rhoda, a plantain seller at the Ogbeogologo Market, Asaba, said that prices of the commodity were bound to drop sharply, particularly in its season of plenty, but the situation appeared not to be so again due to the state of the economy.
For that of Ose market, Onitsha, prices of a big bunch of plantain that previously attracted between N2,000 and N2,500 decreased, and currently range from N1,500 to N1,700, a 25 or 30 per cent drop. This, however, depends on the size and the haggling power of the buyer.
That of the small bunch sold previously for between N800 and N1000 reduced to N600 during the review week.
For that of Oba Market, Benin City, the home of plantain, prices of the commodity dwindled from what was sold earlier. For example, a big bunch that previously went for between N1,500 and N1,800 currently sells for between N1,200 and N1,300, a 20 or 27 per cent reduction. While that of the small bunch currently ranges from N400 to N500 down from N800 sold before.
Mrs. Patricia Onugbe, who sells the commodity, linked the drop to adequate supply and availability. She was, however, hopeful that prices of plantain would crash further during mass production.
But a lady named Comfort, who came to shop for food items debunked her claims, stressing that greedy traders would not allow the prices to crash further in spite of being the harvest time.