A paint container of garri Ijebu which used to sell for N300 now sells for N500, while a paint container of yellow garri which used to sell for N200 now sells for N400.
This rise in price is a major concern for poor families who rely on garri to make eba for dinner or feed their children after school for lunch.
According to some women, a paint container of garri can no longer sustain the family for a week.
“I use half paint of garri for eba at night and we’re still not satisfied. It’s unfair that the food that people like us eat so much is now costly. The government should have mercy on families. We are dying of hunger,” Iya Esther, a mother of four lamented.
Lamenting on how much one of her children eats a day, Iya Rose, a mother of three said, “One of my son can eat four to five times in a day and garri has become so expensive that I cannot even ask him to eat it as many times as he wants. Infact, if you waste garri in my house now, you’ll get a beating for it.”
For Iya Micheal, a mother of three, “But why should garri be that expensive? Is it not a locally made product?” she asks.
Meanwhile, Chukwudi, a foodstuff seller explained that the rise in the price of garri is mainly as a result of export.
According to him, the little left after exportation may not be enough to go round, hence, the increase in the price.
“I have a friend who sells garri to me in Benin. He also has customers who buy garri and export it and these people pay in dollars. So, what he does is that he sells for people with foreign currencies first before people with the local currency. By then, the little he has left is shared amongst those with the local currency.”
Chukwudi also explained that the price of garri tends to go up whenever the price of rice is high. However, he assures that the price of garri will decrease when the price of rice also declines.
Sadly, some families cannot buy as much as they used to buy because they cannot afford to.
“Before the rise in price, my husband buys half bag of garri but now, we buy it in cup. Last night, I bought N200 garri and we finished it that same night and it didn’t satisfy a family of four,” Iya Chike explained.
“No matter the situation of this country, the price of garri shouldn’t have gone up. Presently, garri is not a food that you willingly give out anymore. I just thank God that it has not become that bad for me because I can’t see someone go hungry and deny them garri if they want,” Iya Esther noted.
Decrease in cassava production, insufficient incentives for farmers and the economic state of the country are some of the reasons for the sudden increase in the price of garri.
However, women are pleading that this phase of economic crisis quickly passes.