by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Hundreds of residents from across Kaduna State have all turned attentions to one “Kasuwar Manoma” (or Kasuwar Bakin-Kogin Kaduna) and “Kasuwar Bakin-Kogin Ungwar Gado” where foodstuffs and other aquatic animals are sold at affordable prices.
This is sequel to the steadily rise in the cost of foodstuffs in the popular markets due to economic recession orchestrated by corona-virus pandemic and ravaging security challenges forcing large numbers of Kaduna residents to seek river banks markets for cheaper food items.
A local farmer from Kurmin Kaduna, Mallam Usman Abdullahi, told journalists that, they supply all kinds of farm produce to the River Bank, in order to reduce the high cost of food items in the state.
“Food crops such as vegetables, okro, tomatoes, pepper, onions, rice, beans, maize, yams and bananas and, sometimes animals, are sold at cheaper prices at the River Bank,” he stated.
He stressed that, despite security challenges, farmers at the River Banks were occupied with their farming activities, which is aimed at supplying food stuffs to the nation, in order to tackle scarcity of food in the country.
Research revealed that all the Kaduna River Bank markets are in places where the poor, the retailer and other commercial business men and women, including some neighbors usually go to buy foodstuffs and animals at affordable prices.
“Rising prices of foodstuffs across the market in the country is becoming a big threat to the existence of many families, as insecurity forced many farmers to abandon their farmlands this year.
“Hundreds of people from various places across the state do usually come here in their cars, motor-cycles and buy foodstuffs and other commodities at very cheaper prices,” he added.
According to him, they sell their goods directly to the poor and sometimes the retailers that usually come to the river banks for the business activities.
“The prices of goods at the River Bank are incomparable to the ones in the major markets across the state simply because it’s cheap and affordable.”
“Mrs Elizabeth Lukas is a retailer that travels from Ungwan Gwari Kaduna to come to the River Bank and buy all the foodstuffs and other communities she wants, in order to supply it to the Central Market Kaduna.
“This is the only place where the poor have to travel far-away to come and buy foodstuffs at affordable prices,” Mallam Abdullahi stressed, while Mrs Lukas retorted, saying, “I bought all the foodstuffs that I want at a cheaper price here at the River Bank directly from the local farmer.
“Most of the foodstuffs that were at the Central Market, it’s from here they usually supply it from,” she said, adding that, “Retailers and other foodstuff suppliers prefer coming down here every morning and buy all the foodstuffs because it’s fresh, clean and cheap.
“Although, not all people know about the location of the market because it’s behind a village called Rafin-Guzza, but it’s the main supplier of all the cash crops and other food items in the state,” Mallam Abdullahi noted.
One of the union leaders of the market, Habibu Mustapha, also noted that, “The River Bank market provides an opportunity for both the sellers and the buyers to meet and bargain at affordable prices.
“The market plays a significant role towards boosting the state economy as well as providing an opportunity for employment to large numbers of buyers and sellers, especially married women.”