Prices of some items have skyrocketed in markets in Umuahia and environs following the rising demand occasioned by flooding in some neighbouring states.
A survey by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Umuahia Main Market, Orie Ugba and Ahiaukwu Olokoro markets showed that price of garri and plantain have increased.
Mrs Eucharia Ikoro, a garri dealer, says a measure of garri, which sold for N9, 000 about two weeks ago, was now N18, 000.
"Since the sudden hike, we now sell the custard bucket measure of garri for N600 against N300, while the two and half cups measure now sells for N100.
"Our customers from Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom states, who complained that flooding had made their cassava to rot, are the ones causing demand for garri to go up here."
Ikoro says "a sizeable head of plantain" is now between N1, 300 and N1, 700, depending on the customer’s bargaining power.
Mr Sydney Uzor, a rice dealer in Umuahia Main Market, said that price of a 50kg bag of imported rice had increased by 10%.
"The flooding of our neighbouring states is causing prices of food items to increase," he said.
He added that the price of local rice from Abakaliki had equally witnessed a slight change, explaining that a 50kg bag of the local rice was now N7,000 against N6,200 in August.
Uzor, however, noted that prices of beans, wheat, maize, and groundnut had been stable in the last three weeks.
He said there were indications that prices of food items would still go up before the Christmas and New Year festivities.
"If the flooding continues, then things will likely go from bad to worse for us," he said.
Mr John Okoro, another food items seller, said that demand for rice and wheat had risen due to the higher prices of garri and plantain.
He said that there was the need to urgently address the food supply chain to avert "high scale hunger".