Who tomatoes epp?

Hello! :)
Thanks for stopping by.
The situation in Nigeria this year ehnnn, it's only God that understands. Devaluation of Naira, unfavourable weather conditions etc and now tomatoes scarcity. Of all things! Beht tomato why? *sobs*
It's normal for there to be an increase in the price of tomatoes during the rainy season because rainfall disturbs the growth of tomatoes.
But this year's own is terrible!


Tomatoes are healthy. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, good for eyes, good for hair, they reduce the risk of heart disease etc. I really do love tomatoes and I enjoy having them in different ways. They can be eaten raw, blended with pepper to make stew, added to smoothies, added to meals as ingredients or dressing, they can even be juiced and drunk. There's almost no meal I can't put tomatoes in. I love them. It's a beautiful vegetable. The colour and different shapes attract me. Yas! They are even good for the face, to treat dark cicles, acne, uneven skin tone etc.

There has been a hike in the price of tomatoes as they have been so scarce for a while.  I approached a yoruba pepper seller at a bus stop one day and asked for the price of tomatoes and she pointed at some plates that had just 3 pieces of tomatoes(big ones though) on each and called them 200 Naira per plate. As a typical yoruba girl na I tried to bargain but she replied with "sisi mi, ko gba 199 Naira 50 kobo" (meaning she couldn't even sell it at #199.50k). I paused and then realised hehehe it is a serious something. 3pieces of tomatoes before was not even up to 50 Naira. Hian! Even the hausa men, that are taking over some parts of Lagos (don't know about other states)  with their pepper stands, don't sell tomatoes again. They have given up. They are known to sell pepper, tomatoes, onions etc at a very cheap price. I have been to a few of them and they keep saying "gaskiya tomatoes too cost. I no pit sell am". That bad. They also said there is 'ebola tomatoes' that is another reason why they have not been selling. People in Ibadan and some other places said that the tomatoes sold by the Hausa men are 'ebola tomatoes' and so they refused to buy. For this reason, the Hausa men stopped selling. Smh. Naija people. Which one is ebola tomatoes again o? I thought people just don't want to buy from Northerners because of the havoc being wrecked there but I decided to find out the real reason. The culprit is a grey-brown species of larvae also known as the tomato leafminer, but now generally referred to as the ‘Tomato Ebola’, because of its destructive power in comparison to the dreaded Ebola virus. This larvae reproduces really fast and has the ability to wipe out an entire tomato farm within days. This is the major reason for tomato scarcity. I got that info here

The implication was that tomatoes had to be imported from Cotonou because the ones grown in the Western and Southern part of the country were not enough. That is why tomatoes became really expensive. Those are the big round ones being sold at 200 Naira for just 3 pieces. *deep sigh* I don't blame those who stopped selling. Their profit margin is low because consumers have shifted to alternatives.
Economically speaking, when the price of a commodity is high, the demand for that commodity reduces. The implication is that consumers switch to substitute goods. Tomatoes are expensive and consumers shifted to the use of tomato paste to cook instead of fresh tomatoes. The high demand for this substitute good (tomato paste) has in turn made the price of it high and supply of it has increased tremendously with different brands of it now coming into the market. Another substitute for many has been dried tomatoes. I learnt that they have a strong smell and give stews a dark colour. The process of preparation is quite long too as one has to soak in hot water for a while and rinse well with little salt before blending then cooking. *whew* what a process!
But abeg, who tomatoes epp? We don vex. Ahan! Tomatoes are very important as they are present in almost every Nigerian meal but as the tomatoes haf refused to grow nko, wetin man go do? Thank God the situation is better than before sha. I noticed they're not as expensive as they were weeks back. Who tomatoes epp? *rme* They don't have to be in every meal. Two elderly women told me they don't even bother to buy them. All they buy is pepper, tatashe and blend with lots of onions to make stew. So tell me, how have you been coping? What have been your alternatives? What is the situation like where you are? Share your tomato experience in the comment box.
Nagode.

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