By Mercy Obojeghren
Asaba, Jan. 10, 2019 (NNN) Fish sellers in Asaba, Delat, said they were deserting the business due to the high cost of imported frozen fish and low patronage in the last one year.
The said this in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) on Thursday in Asaba.
The sellers also attributed the continuous increase in the price of fish to the high exchange rate of dollar against the naira as another contributory factor.
The Leader of Frozen fish sellers in Asaba main market, Mrs Nneli Obiagulu, noted that a carton of Titus frozen fish, sold for N23, 000 December 2017, had increased to N27, 000.
Obiajulu also said that a carton of mackerel fish that was sold for N9,000 in the same period, had gone up to N16,000, adding that most members had taken into other businesses.
She said: “The increase in the price of frozen fish is becoming a major challenge to us because, most of our members now struggle to sell one carton of fish on daily basis.
“This is unlike before when we sold as many as two four cartons.
“Despite the high cost of frozen fish, we are not even sure of making up to N1,000 from one carton at the end of the day.
“Most of the customers who normally patronise us have shifted their base to buying beef because they now feel it is cheaper for them to buy.’’
Also, some food vendors who spoke with NNN said that the increase in the price of frozen fish was becoming unbearable for them, saying that frozen fish had become a food for the rich.
Mr Juliet Osamor, a food vendor said, “It is cheaper for me to use beef for stew than using frozen fish because my customers prefer to buy a plate of rice with one beef for N200.
“Instead, they buy that same plate of rice with small beef for N250.
“Even some of my well known customers who used to buy fish from me have shifted to eating beef because to them, it is now cheaper for them.’’
Meanwhile, NNN investigation showed that the increase in the price of fish has attracted more patronage to beef sellers in Asaba.
Some of the beef seller told NNN that in spite of the economic situation; patronage in the business had been very encouraging in the last one year.
According to Azubuike Chidi, a beef seller at the Asaba modern market, business had been encouraging “because we sell as low as N500 beef and this has been attracted some good patronage.“ (NNN)
Edited by Dada Ahmed
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