By Alex Enebeli-
Prices of beef have increased beyond the reach of some individuals and families in Enugu State, making residents to groan over hike.
A market survey conducted by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Friday at various abattoirs shows that the price of beef had increased by double when compared with December and January prices.
NAN reports that the increment had forced prices of goat meat, pork and livestock’s to soar as a kilo of cow meat sold at N1,800 had risen to between N2,300 and N2,500.
A meat dealer at Gariki Market, Awkunanaw, Mr. Kenneth Nnolim said the increment in the price of beef started few months ago due to ongoing herder and farmer’s crisis in the country and Ramadan fast.
He noted that a cow sold at N200,000, N250,000 and N300, 000 was now sold at N400,000, N450,000, N500,000 and N600,000 depending on their sizes.
Nnolim said the prices changed on daily and weekly basis
“We are suffering in the southeast and the suppliers of cows are using us to play and as I am talking now, I cannot assure you the prices it will be sold tomorrow or next week.
Before, I used to make enormous gain but now I struggle to break even,” he said.
Another meat seller at Mammy market, Ebuka Ojinnaka, blamed the increase in prices on activities of middlemen in the cow business as well as low supply of cow in the state.
According to him, cow business passes from different hands before getting to the people selling in the market.
“The demand for cows are higher than its supply, making the price to go higher and they are also scarce in the market.
“I make N7,000 as gain before but now I hardly make up to N3,000 and we are succeeding because we are old in the business.
“We implore our leaders to something about it because we are suffering in the southeast,” Ojinnaka said.
A cow dealer, Mallam Aminu Ishaku, blamed the high cost on transportation, adding that they spent a lot of money to bring cows down to the east.
“Due to farmers and herders crisis in the country, we are being careful and we transport these cows from the north,” Ishaku said.
A meat buyer, Mrs Nkiruka Agbo, said the prices of other meats and fish had increased significantly in Enugu markets.
“Despite the cost, I still prefer cow meat but I want government to do something about the price,” she said.
It is also a similar situation for pork sellers as price of pork has increased from N1,000 a kilogram to N1,200.
A piggery farmer, Chief Ekene Uwakwe, blamed the price increase to high costs of animal feed.
According to him, a tipper load of spend grain from brewery is between N80,000 and N100,000, if you even get it because of the high demand.
He said that a ton of 20 bags of 50Kg Palm Kernel Cake (PKC) now sold for N60,000 as against N34,000 sold in December, 2020 and January 2021.
“In fact, it has not been easy for livestock farmers in the South East due to the insecurity in the country,” he said.
A consumer of pork, Mr Ikechukwu Ilo, said he preferred pork meat to beef because it was more nutritious and cheaper.
“Pork meat is sweeter in stew and when roasted,” he said.