Prices of grains and other food items have fallen in Katsina State as the current cash crunch continues to bite.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria reports that the prices of maize, guinea corn, millet and beans have gone down compared to what obtained about three weeks ago.
A grains seller, Haruna Abdullahi, told NAN that a bag of maize sells for about N19,000 in most markets now as against the old price of N24,000.
A bag of guinea corn now sells at N14,000 and below, depending on the quality, whereas the old price was N18,000.
“Prices of food items are even cheaper in major markets like Dandume, Bakori, Danja and other grains-producing areas,” he said.
Another trader, Nasir Isa, told NAN that a bag of millet, which used to sell at N24,000 now costs N20,000.
He added that a bag of beans now costs between N28,000 and N30,000, as against the old price of between N34,000 and N36,000, depending on quality.
Mr Isa noted, however, that majority of the grains farmers would not accept electronic cash transfers from patrons.
“Very few enlightened farmers accept money transfer during transactions.
“The few ones that accept cash transfers sell the grains at higher rates. For instance, if the bag of grains costs N20,000 in cash payment, cash transfer will cost N23,000 and above,” he said.
In spite of the price decreases, grains sellers complained about low patronage as patrons were having challenges in accessing money from banks and from PoS operators.
Some residents who spoke with NAN urged government to expedite action at easing the agony being experienced in cash availability.
Ibrahim Adam said he had been trying to withdraw money, but could not because of the long queues at ATMs and at the few PoS points in town.
He urged government to intensity efforts at making the new naira notes available so as to ease suffering of the people and to enhance socio-economic activities.