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Yuletide: Jos residents decry high price of local rice

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A worker displays a handful of rice at a market. REUTERS/JIANAN YU

Some residents of Jos have decried the recent hike in price of local rice in the area, describing the development as worrisome, especially with the Christmas and New Year festivities fast approaching.

One of them, Mrs Mary Edith, a trader, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that in 2019 she bought a 50kg bag of stone-free local rice for N13,000, but that the same brand was now selling for N28,000.

“You will agree with me that this increase is outrageous and unfair for an average Nigerian whose salary is about N30,000.

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Another resident, Mrs Helen Asuquo, a business woman, said that she bought a 50kg bag of the local rice in April at the rate of N18, 000 only to buy the same commodity for N28,000 in November.

Mr Gabriel James, a carpenter, said that himself and six of his friends had planned to buy a bag of the local grain to share for Christmas.

“The truth is that, it is not possible to celebrate Christmas without rice; the children will disturb you, ” James said.

Mrs Ene Odin, on her part, complained that the price of rice was almost beyond the reach of the common man.

However, Mr Bitrus Joshua, Chairman, Plateau chapter of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), said the price would stabilise very soon as new stocks were being harvested.

Joshua said that rice, which was one of the most staple grains in the country, required machines that could produce the commodity on a large scale.

He said most of the growers of the commodity still used manual labour and that the demand was high.

He, therefore, expressed the need for more machines and processing plants in the country.

The chairman explained that the price of rice usually was based on the price of the inputs and the logistics involved.

He, however, assured consumers that Millers were working tirelessly to ensure stability in the price of the commodity.

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