Some residents of Enugu, Nigeria’s South-east, have shifted patronage to sweet potatoes as alternative staple food as the price of yam continues to soar, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported.
A correspondent of NAN, who visited major markets in Enugu metropolis on Saturday, observed that sweet potatoes had flooded yam shops.
Some yam sellers are currently stocking only sweet potatoes in their shops due its high demand.
A bag of potatoes sells for between N7,000 and N8,500 as against the price of a heap of 12 sizable yam tubers which is sold between N6,400 and N7, 000.
One medium-sized yam now goes for between N700 and N800 as against six sizable potatoes sold for N200.
Some residents said that potato produce had solved hunger in many families.
A resident, Uju Ufondu, said that potatoes had made it possible for many families to still eat tuber staple food.
“At least with N500 you can get enough potatoes for your family and whichever way you prepare it, your family will be satisfied.
Another resident, Vivian Oba, said the increase in the price of yam has forced her to turn to potatoes for her family and also for its nutritional value.
“It has been proved that sweet potato is more nutritious, filling, and tasty than yam,” Mrs Oba said.
Some potatoes sellers told NAN that the price of the produce crashed due to its season as yam tubers are off season.
A potato seller in Garki market said she had switched trade to sweet potatoes pending when new yams are harvested.
“I now sell sweet potatoes because of the increase in the price of yam, which has made most of my customers stop patronising me.
“So I quickly bought some bags of potatoes to sell as many now go for it and for me not to lose my customers,” she said.
Kelvin Egwu, another seller, added that potatoes are now more affordable than yam due to the continuous increase in the price of yam.
“Because of the high patronage in potatoes, I decided to switch over to it from my yam business pending when new yams start coming into the markets,” Mr Egwu added.
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