Ramadan feast drives food prices through the roof

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After the Ramadan fast, Muslims of the Northern Nigeria have complained of their inability to afford the food items with which to break the fast as high food prices have been driven through the roof.

The food eaten during the after-Ramadan is traditionally a break from the customary maize and rice-based staples of tuwon masara and tuwon shinkafa but it appears the northerners will have to break with the same stable maize and rice dishes as those are the only food items in the region with stable prices.

The Muslims would prefer to break the fast with eggs and fried potatoes, salad and fresh fruit, but most people can no longer afford these food items.

The poverty has gone beyond the poorest Northern Nigeria residents to affect even individuals with respectable jobs. Where in years past, families have purchased food items in bulk to be consumed through the fasting period, this year many have been reduced to buying food in small quantities they can afford.

According to Muhammad Aliyu, a civil servant ‘I usually buy fresh fruits like oranges, bananas and pineapple on a daily basis during Ramadan, but this year, I only buy them twice a week due to the high cost. For example the price of a 50 kilo bag of black-eyed beans, has shot up by 40 percent. Eggs and chicken have gone up by a similar amount. Potatoes cost fully 60 percent more than just four weeks ago when Ramadan began. Vegetables are also up by 60 percent. The price of yams — ordinarily eaten in large quantities during the month of fasting — is also up by 40 percent.

The mainstream residents point an accusing finger at retailers for the abrupt swell of the items’ prices during the period of Ramadan.

Director General of the Kano state Directorate of Social Orientation, Bala Muhammed, has assured the northerners that the Directorate is aware of the poor attitudes of food retailers wh

High cost of living  In the past year alone, food prices have shot through the roof while other household essentials have undergone unprecedented price hikes. Coupled with a global financial meltdown, this situation has been mostly harsh on the poor. The Haiti food riots which began in April, 2008, quickly spread like wild fire to Egypt, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Madagascar, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Cameroon... According to experts, this situation was in part created by careless government policies, the rising popularity of bio-fuels as well as the global financial crisis, among other factors...
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