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Concerns as price of beans soars

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Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Fellow Press

Lagos residents are raising concerns about continued increase in the price of beans, their major source of protein.

They said that consistent rise in the price of beans since 2024 had become unbearable, urging governments to intervene.

The residents spoke in interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos.

A 40kg bag of beans, which sold for N26,000 in January, now sells for N115,000, while a 100kg bag which sold for N55,000 at the beginning of the year, now sells for N230,000.

This made the staple food beyond the reach of many of the residents.

Mrs Uloma Chigozirim, a housewife and mother of four on Santos Estate, Akowonjo, expressed worry that children might be malnourished following the high increase in the price of beans.

“Beans used to be the cheapest food; now, we do not even understand what is going on.

“Every other week, the price keeps going up; even traders cannot tell us the reason for the hike.

“Beans used to be the cheapest source of protein for the average resident, but the produce is now too expensive to afford.

“We really need government intervention, else a lot of us will be malnourished,” Chigozirim said.

Hinting on the possible reason for the hike in the price of the produce, Mr Uche Ikenga, a beans farmer at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, noted that the produce was not an all-season crop.

“It has the time it is cultivated.

“The peak period for beans harvest is usually at the end of the year. Then we have enough supply for the growing demand of the produce.

“However, harvest time is the time some cattle are foraging everywhere for food.

“Last year, a lot of farmers lost their harvest because their beans farms were consumed by the foraging cows.

“The produce is scarce and expensive this year because the harvest of last year was low,” Ikenga said.

A beans trader at the Dry Foodstuff Section of Ile-Epo Market, Agege, Mr Ahmed Yusuf, said that beans might not be unavailable in the coming months.

“We sold a small bucket of beans for N6,500 last two weeks but now the same quantity sells for N 8,000.

“The price just keeps soaring everyday, and we sell as we buy. We no longer keep because of the price unpredictability.

“We are not even sure if we will have beans to sell by this time next month because the produce is unavailable,” he said.

Yusuf told NAN that demand for beans had been high but farmers did not have enough because so many of them could not cultivate crops this year.

“There is nothing we can do about the price hike, it has gone beyond our control,” Yusuf said.

A seller of jewellery, Mrs Bunmi Arowolo, called for intervention of the federal and Lagos State governments in the situation.

“Early in May, I bought a paint (small) bucket of beans for N7 500 as against N3,000 previously.

“As common form of protein, I now manage the little quantity for my family.

“I want to appeal to the governments to tackle insecurity so that farmers can go to their farms again and make the produce available and affordable,” Arowolo said.

Emphasising the importance of beans in Nigerians’ diets, Ms Adaeze Oparaku, a nutritionist at the Lagos Teaching Hospital (LUTH), said: “The produce is an important source of protein, carbohydrates, dietary fibre for both adults and children.

“It contains micronutrients such as the Vitamin Bs, good source of minerals such as phosphorus, copper, manganese, iron.

“Beans should be a regular staple in children’s diet, if they like it.

“However, given the rise in the price of the produce, it can be substituted with other protein sources in children’s meals.”

Mrs Eugenia Uloma, a trader at the popular Kotangora Market in Abule-Egba area, said that beans had been a major part of the Nigerian diet and important to every Nigerian.

“The produce is so expensive, but we still buy the quantity we can afford because it is our major source of protein.

“Other protein sources are even more expensive.

“We do not need so much from the government, if it can address this growing food inflation, we will be grateful.

“Let us just have food to eat, that is what most of us are asking. We need to feed our families to live, especially the children,” Uloma said.

A vegetable farmer, Mrs Barinedum Legbara, called for adequate planning for increased local production of beans.

“We buy beans as a basic necessity in our diet. Government should do something about the beans issue.

“We need adequate planning for strategic cultivation of beans so as to avoid this scarcity and hike.

“We have everything in this country to feed ourselves. Farmers should be empowered to cultivate crops for food security.

“Nigeria is fertile, we just need to be more strategic in our crop cultivation to give us sizeable yields and good prices,” Legbara said.

Entertainment

Nollywood actress, Stella Ikwuegbu, dies

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Last Updated on June 16, 2024 by Fellow Press

The Nigerian Movie Industry has once again been thrown into mourning following the demise of another actress, Sandra Ikwuegbu.

The Veteran Actress is said to have died today, June 16, after a battling with leg cancer,

Her colleagues in the industry have taken to social media to mourn her. Movie Producer, Stanley Ontop , wrote;

‘’Popular Nollywood actress/veteran Mrs stella ikwuegbu is dead.

The Veteran Actress left this world today after battling with Leg cancer. Rest well madam Stella.

Nollywood not again

It’s well

Shalom!”

Another colleague of hers, Ijele Ozioma Christy Ejiofor, who paid a visit to the late actress’s home this afternoon, wrote

‘’Ukwu Gi Dia. Why? You scaled through several, accident s and all. Eniure/Achiere came, and in less than a week, it killed you. Oh my… I feel bad.

Stella Ikwuegbu, nenu Jennifer, you didn’t enjoy a thing. Why? Just why?

Adieu Great Actress Extraordinary…”

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Food shortage in Southwest will be calamitous– Yoruba Group

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Last Updated on June 16, 2024 by Fellow Press

A Yoruba socio-political group, Yoruba Commitment Forum (YCF) has raised an alarm about the looming food shortage in the South West region of the country.

The group said, though, the impending food insecurity is a national crisis, stressing that its impact on Yorubaland is going to be calamitous.

This was contained in a statement jointly signed by Otunba Hon Tayo Onayemi, Barr. Akeem Aponmade, Barr. Femi Mokikan, Otunba Niyi Sodiya, Mrs. Buky Tunde Oshunrinde and Mrs. Sola Maja, and made available to newsmen in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

The YCF attributed the looming food shortage to the invasion and destruction of farmlands by rampaging Fulani herders.

The group, while calling for adequate security of farmers and their farmlands, equally appealed to the federal government to adequately compensate whose farmlands were destroyed and as well give them financial incentives, to encourage them to go back to farm.

The statement titled, “Nigeria’s headaches, food insecurity in Yorubaland”, read, “we have observed that for about seven years now, Fulani herdsmen have been engaging in a relentless destruction of farmlands and settlements in Yorubaland. These criminal Fulani elements resorted to kidnapping, raping, maiming and killing of farmers and Yoruba sons and daughters.

“Neither the governments at any level, nor Fulani herdsmen’s apologists would claim ignorance of the atrocious activities of these ruthless people. Video recordings of their wicked actions suffuse the internet. The end result is that farmers began to be scared off their farms gradually until now when farms have been completely abandoned.

“When this started years ago, foresighted individuals raised concerns; they warned about the potential danger of food insecurity beginning with rising food prices and the need to ensure a stable food supply. It appears that Southwest was deliberately targeted and the invasion of our farmlands was the execution of a conscious plan to starve our people to death.

“We, the Yoruba Nation agitators, cried out for help against the brazen onslaught, but none came from the federal government led by a Fulani man.

“Unfortunately, the hens have now come home to roost as the consequences of our action, and inaction, are now here for real with food shortages and very high prices making it increasingly difficult for our people to access the basic necessity of food.

“Before the current situation spirals out of control, we hasten to inform the government that there is no alternative to large scale farming which Fulani herdsmen have destroyed by waging a war against farmers. Subsistence farming through the backyards, as good as it is, cannot serve the purpose of assuring any people of food security. Farmlands in the South West must be made very safe.

“We state emphatically that the situation whereby a basket of tomatoes is sold for #4000 in the North while the same is sold in Yorubaland for #150,000 is callous, ruthless and unacceptable to us.

We also call for assistance to use cheaper rail transport among others to assist our market men and women. Other regions do this, why not here in Yorubaland?

“Secondly, governments must incentivise farmers whose investments have been destroyed during the war of attrition waged against them by Fulani terrorists. Without government’s financial assistance, there is no way most farmers will be able to go back to farming, even if security of their lives and new investments are assured”, the statement concluded.

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