Food vendors lament rising cost of beans, seek FG’s intervention

The food vendors said this in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos.

NAN reports that in recent times the price of beans has tripled in the market nationwide.

A 40kg bag of beans, which sold for ₦26,000 in January, now sells for ₦115,000, while a 100kg bag which sold for ₦55,000 at the beginning of the year, now sells for ₦230,000 to ₦280,000 per bag depending on the species.

Mrs Kemi Adebayo, a restaurant owner in Alagutan, Alimosho area, lamented that food vendors are not making a profit from the sale of beans owing to the price hike.

“We do not know how to do it anymore, we are just selling to be in business. We are not making profits at all. Beans have become gold.

“If there is anything the government can do to help us, it will go a long way to help. We sell beans now for 300 per spoon.

“This is the highest we have seen since I started this cooking business. There are no alternatives to beans, we have thought of any alternative to beans. In fact, the price of all food items is on the increase.

“Even people that ask for spaghetti to mix with their rice have no choice but to buy beans. It is a necessary dietary requirement,” Adebayo said.

A trader of mashed beans locally known as ‘Ewa Agoyin’ in the Folarin area of Alimosho, Mrs Titilayo Oremeji, said they can no longer buy the produce in large quantities since the hike.

“I mainly sell beans because the locals prefer the ‘Ewa Agoyin’ delicacy but the price hike is crippling business.

“I usually buy a bag of beans for business but I can’t afford to buy it now. I just bought a few ‘derica’ to cook for my customers this morning.

“Presently, a cup sells for as high as N1,700, we bought a Derica for N500 early in January.

“I was told to go to the Agege Market, that I would get a bag of mixed species of beans at ₦220,000 as against ₦260,000 to ₦280,000 for the regular beans,” Oremeji said.

She noted that “food vendors have started selling beans for N200 per serving spoon, so as to break even.

“There are indeed no alternatives to beans, though to feel satisfied, some of our customers order fried plantain, yam and bread with the beans they can afford.

“We just want the government to wade into this situation and make things easy for the average Nigerian,” she said.

On her part, a cooked food trader popularly known as Iya Adetoun, at Apatira Street, Alimosho, decried the situation and how they have cut down on the volume they cook daily.

“The rising price of beans is biting hard on our business, but we have no choice but to sell as we buy.

“We have increased the price of beans per serving. Before the price hike, we used to sell a spoon at N50 but now, we sell at N200 per serving spoon.

“There are no alternatives to beans, though some customers combine their meals with spaghetti, most still insist on beans.

“We have reduced the quantity we sell because not everyone can afford the usual staple food,” she said.

A civil servant, Mrs Ada Okoye, a mother of three, told NAN that the price of beans has become very alarming and beyond the reach of many Nigerians.

Okoye said she had to look for another alternative to beans like pigeon peas popularly known as ‘fiofio’ in Igbo.

“I had to look for other seedlings in the form of beans to buy which are lesser in price, like pigeon peas.

“I do also buy beans but I have reduced the amount and frequency in cooking it so that we at least eat it,” she said.

Mrs Iyabo Bello, a mother of three, said that it has become very difficult to eat a balanced diet in Nigeria.

“The hike of beans price is worrisome, owing that the commodity is one of the major sources of protein that people commonly consume.

“It’s over two months since I ate beans last because of the hike in price, as my salary cannot afford the extra cost because everything is costly in the market.

“Even other sources of protein are costly and people are now struggling to have a balanced diet in this country,” Bello said.

She called on the Federal Government to tackle the persistent rising food inflation and food insecurity in the country to prevent imminent hunger.

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