No be beans - Lagos residents lament as price of beans skyrockets

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.

Food prices soar in Nigeria. [Daily Trust]

They said that the 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.

NAN reports that 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.

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 at the possible reason for the hike in the price of the produce, 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 bean harvest is usually at the end of the year. Then we have enough supply for the growing demand for 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 bean 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, 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 ₦8,000.

“The price just keeps soaring every day, and we sell as we buy. We no longer keep it 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 the 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 3,000 previously.

“As a common form of protein, I now manage a 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 Vitamin B, a good source of minerals such as phosphorus, copper, manganese, and 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 Kontagora Market in the 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. The government should do something about the beans issue.

“We need adequate planning for strategic cultivation of beans 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.

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