The Price of old yams has increased in various markets in Benin, a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) survey has shown.
Some traders who spoke to NAN ascribed the price increase to the high demand for old stock of yams popularly called Paper yam, which was presently in short supply.
The traders said that following the development, consumers now go for cheaper alternatives such as potatoes and plantain.
NAN checks at Oregbeni, New Benin, Oba and Ekiosa markets on Wednesday revealed that yam vendors sold more of potatoes, plantains and new yams.
Speaking to NAN, Mrs Ophelia Ikponwonsa, a yam seller, said that the old yams were tastier than the new ones which had become more available in the markets.
She said that although many customers demanded for old yams, some could not afford it due to the high price.
Ikponwonsa said that a tuber of old yam that previously sold for N600, was now being sold for N1,000, while a bigger size which sold for N800 was now selling for N1,200.
Promise Ugbeni, a fried yam seller in Ekiosa market, told NAN that many traders no longer bought yam for their family’s consumption because of the cost.
She said that the price increase was already affecting her business because the size and cost of her fried yam had also changed.
Ugbeni said that a piece of fried yam previously sold for N10, was now being sold for N20, while a bigger size which sold for N50, now went for N100.
“Many of my customers no longer buy fried yam, their excuse is that they cannot afford the new price,’’ she said.
Another customer, Clara Ugbede said although she loved eating yam, she could not afford to buy at the present price.