Daily trust reports that the price of farm produce has significantly reduced as farmers are recording bumper harvests in Katsina State.
Several factors, such as complementary and composite demands of the produce have seen prices dwindle in recent weeks.
Sorghum for example was expensive last season with its price at between N16,000 and N18,000 by this time but this year, Daily Trust gathered that it costs as low as N9,000 due to the bumper harvest of maize and millet that are its direct substitutes.
Alhaji Adamu Nalado, an agri-entrepreneur in Funtua market told Daily Trust that sorghum was expensive by this time last year because merchants from the far north and Niger Republic mopped the produce to their markets but this year they were only interested in buying maize that was in abundance and at lower price.
“Besides companies that buy sorghum in large quantities, merchants from far north and Niger Republic also buy the produce in bulk but this year because they had a bumper harvest of millet, their demand for sorghum is low and instead they prefer to buy maize,” Alhaji Nalado said.
He added that the price of sorghum may improve before the harvest of the new one but certainly it would not be as expensive as last year especially as companies were looking forward to buying the new one within the next two months.
Farmers in Katsina State have experienced bumper harvest of maize as they cultivated it massively. Before this season, it was gathered, a 100kg bag costs up to N16,500, but now, after the harvest of the new produce, its goes for N8,500.
A maize farmer and merchant, Alhaji Muhammad Sani Dandume, said the development was as a result of mass cultivation of the crop and the importation of the produce by some industrialists on the other hand.
“We all anticipated a significant reduction of maize price going by the mass production of the crop this year, but we are discouraged by the importation of the produce by some industrialists on the eve of our harvesting period. This, if continued, will hamper the actualization of the Federal Government’s policy on self-sufficiency in maize production,” said Alhaji Dandume.
He further said that about two weeks ago, the price of the produce was as low as N6,000 but with only few buyers in sight.
Like maize, Katsina State has seen large-scale cultivation of rice this year: abundant fertilizer and sufficient rainfall have resulted in a bumper harvest of the produce.
This reporter observed that the price of locally milled rice has come down from N800 to N600 per measure while paddy rice was sold at N8,500 instead of N13,000 per bag.
A local rice miller and seller at Bakori grains market, Malam Farouk Abdullahi, said but for buyers from Sokoto, Kebbi and Kano states, the price of local rice would have been much lower considering its mass production in the state.
“Kebbi State that engaged mostly in irrigated rice farming is now part of our customers and with the proliferation of modern milling machines, many farmers are coming from Kano to buy the produce; this has retained the price of milled rice at N24,000 per 100Kg bag as against N32,000 some months back,” he said.
Farouk added that there is good prospect for rice farming in Katsina State just like Kebbi, though the farmers have no access to reliable dams for irrigation.
Millet is a produce that has no much industrial value but widely consumed, particularly in the northern part of the country. In Katsina State, it was gathered, millet was mostly cultivated in the northern part of the state and this year the farmers have experienced a bumper harvest of the produce.
Malam Aminu Ibrahim, a millet merchant, said in the last fasting period, they sold 100Kg of millet at N18,000-N20,000.
“Katsina State has recorded a bumper harvest of millet too and that has affected the demand for sorghum in the northern part of the state, especially as they use the two produce interchangeably. The price of 100Kg bag now costs N11,500 here as against N20,000 some months back,” said Ibrahim.