EXCLUSIVE: How Consumption of Garri Skyrocket in Yobe

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By Kasim Isa Muhammad

Over the past two months in Yobe State, the garri business has experienced considerable growth, likely due to the removal of the fuel subsidy and the current economic challenges in the country. Garri, a popular food processed from cassava, has become a more affordable alternative to other costly food items.

Shuaibu Abdulrahman, a distributor of garri in Potiskum Local Government Area of the State pointed out that people are now consuming more garri due to the economic downturn, and its affordability has made it a preferable choice.

He noted, “At present, I’m bringing in three truckloads of garri every week, and the level of patronage is unprecedented. Previously, prior to the fuel subsidy removal, I used to sell each sack at N8,000. However, now it has risen to N12,000, which vividly illustrates the extent of the transformation in the business.”

He further explained that the surge in demand for garri can be attributed to the ongoing economic challenges the country is facing.

Meanwhile, Hajiya Hadiza Abubakar, another prominent garri seller, confirmed that garri is becoming increasingly sought after because of its cost-effectiveness, especially when compared to the rising prices of other food items.

“As evident, garri is a more budget-friendly option due to its lower cost. This affordability is driving people to purchase it, primarily influenced by the impact of the fuel subsidy.”

What’s driving the increased patronage of garri?

TCR interviewed several residents of Potiskum and Damaturu who have been purchasing garri regularly.

Muhammad Lawan, a family man with six children, emotionally shared his situation with TCR, expressing dismay over being unable to afford local rice, which now costs N2,200 per bucket.

He said, “Given the affordability of garri, I now prefer to buy it. This is the first time in my life that I’ve encountered such circumstances. We’re truly facing hardships, and the government’s distributed palliatives aren’t effectively alleviating the impact of the fuel subsidy removal.”

Similarly, Salisu Abubakar disclosed that he can’t afford the majority of food items due to their exorbitant prices while sharing that it has led him to rely on garri as a practical alternative.

On his part, Hamza Garba, a resident of Damaturu, said that purchasing garri has become a straightforward way to endure the current challenging conditions, as life becomes increasingly difficult.

The Citizen Reports correspondent revealed that garri sellers are now a common sight across the state, selling the popular food item in wheelbarrows.

It could be recalled that in response to the fuel subsidy removal, Governor Mai Mala Buni established a state-level palliative committee to address the economic impact.

Also, during TCR’s visit to markets, it was observed that the price of garri currently ranges between N1100 and N1000 per bucket.

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