As plantain piles go rotten in markets


By Vera Wisdom-Bassey

Due to the cash crunch currently plaguing many people in the country, plantain sellers in markets in Lagos and Ogun States are bemoaning their fate.

As a result of the cash crunch, many people have no access to cash like they used to. As a result, they cannot patronise traders in the market. One of the biggest victims are plantain sellers.

At Idi-Oro Market in Mushin, the women are lamenting their fate, even as many of the plantains on sale have become bad and rotten. The story of the rotting plantains, for anyone who lives on another planet, and has not cottoned onto it by now, is that each one of the piles represents the living and working capital of its owner.

Because of the short life cycle of the plantains, which are delivered to the market in trailers and vans coming from farms in distant places like Edo and Delta states, among others, the plantain should be sold to consumer within four or five days. Otherwise, they would become black and worthless.

Having bought a load of plantains from the trailer, the trader has to get rid of her stock almost immediately, Customers would normally abound, from other sellers taking the commodity to sell in other markets to street traders who will hawk them on trays in the streets.

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The reporter spoke with some traders whose stock had been affected. It was discovered that the prices of plantain had gone up as a result of this cashless policy.

A woman, Mama Nnenna, lamented that she invested thousands of naira on the plantains nut regretted that they had all gone bad as there were no buyers, since nobody had cash.

“The plantain got bad, after we brought them into Lagos. What can we do? There is nothing I could do.  I did not get anything from it, my money wasted.

“I was just looking at the plantains, and there was nothing I could do.”

Another woman, Mrs. Bola Adebiyi, was also full of lamentations. “We watched our plantains rot away before our eyes. What is going bad is not just the plantain, but the capital, the food our families and children will eat with and the money to pay the landlord at the end of the month. These are some of the problems we are facing.”

Another trader at Obada Market also lamented that the same problem was happening at Mile 12 Market because of the cashless policy.

She lamented that the market association had not been of much help. She said she would not make any profit on plantains again until December this year.