Abuja - There is some confusion in the prices of fruits in Federal Capital Territory as prices are increasing in spite of the decline in demand.
A market survey conducted on Tuesday showed that the demand for fruits declined because of the rainy season, but the prices increased because of the high cost of transportation.
The market survey showed that the prices of pineapple, water melon, bananas, oranges and pawpaw are up by between 11 per cent and 100 per cent.
Pineapple now sells for about N600 for a large sized one as against N300, while water melon sells for between N400 and N500 as against N200 and N300, depending on the size.
At the Mararaba Orange Market, where many Abuja residents shop, a bag of oranges increased from N11,000 to N14,000, while pawpaw is now sold at about N600, up from about N400.
A bunch of bananas now sells for N3,500 as against N2,000.
Malam Usman Abubakar, a trader at the Mararaba Orange Market, attributed the increase to the high cost of transporting the items.
Abubakar said that though people had interest in buying the fruits, they could not afford them as a result of the high cost.
Mr Suleiman Mahmud, another trader at the Kubwa Market agreed with Abubakar and said that the increase in prices was due to the high transport fares caused by scarcity of petrol.
He added that farmers were also no longer interested in the growing some of the fruits.
``The cost of transporting these fruits is high, therefore, we increase our prices, coupled with the security challenges in most parts of the North.
Mr Mohammed Nura, another fruit seller, decried the increase, saying that he would only purchase little of the affected items until the rainy season was over.
He, however, said that though the business was profitable, he would not advice anybody to venture into the business in this rainy season.
He said, ``Because of the cold weather people are no longer interested in buying fruits.
``The rain is really affecting us; sometimes we lose our capital due to low patronage and the perishable nature of fruits.’’
However, the prices of apple, garden eggs and carrots are yet to respond to the season or the increase in transport fares.
NAN reports that the prices of the locally produced fruits are on the increase, while the imported ones have not changed.